Prince Harry, Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi, a spokesperson for the prince has said.
The incident happened after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended an awards ceremony in New York on Tuesday.
In a statement, the prince’s spokesperson said the “relentless pursuit” lasted for over two hours.
They added it resulted in near collisions with other drivers on the road, pedestrians and police officers.
The BBC has not been able to independently verify the details of the incident.
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the spokesperson said.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”
The New York Police Department (NYPD) did not immediately confirm knowledge of the matter. There have so far been no reports of any injuries or arrests.
The awards ceremony – the Ms Foundation Women of Vision Awards – was the couple’s first public appearance together since the King’s Coronation earlier this month. Meghan accepted an award at the event alongside LaTosha Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
They were accompanied by Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland. Photographs taken last night show the group leaving the ceremony in Manhattan.
There are now claims the chase that followed involved half a dozen cars, with reckless driving including going through red lights, driving on the pavement, carrying out blocking moves, and reversing down a one way-way street – as well as taking photographs while driving.
The BBC understands the pair were staying at a friend’s home in New York and did not return directly to avoid compromising their security during the chase.
It’s also claimed that the presence of New York police officers did not stop the pursuit.
Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a 1997 car crash in Paris while being chased by photographers.
In an interview with the BBC for the documentary “Diana, 7 Days”, Prince Harry referred to the paparazzi as “a pack of dogs” who constantly hounded his mother. “Every single time she went out there’d be a pack of people waiting for her,” he said. “I mean a pack of dogs, followed her, chased her, harassed her, called her names, spat at her, trying to get a reaction, to get that photograph of her lashing out.”
Prince Harry is currently involved in multiple legal disputes with the British tabloid press, including allegations of phone hacking and the unlawful gathering of information.
Earlier this week, a lawyer representing Prince Harry told a London court that he should be allowed to challenge a government decision that denied him the ability to pay for police protection while in the country.
The pair stepped down from royal duties and moved to the US in 2020 – a move they said was partly due to harassment from UK tabloids.