Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, are demanding the photographers who allegedly chased them through New York City on Tuesday relinquish the images snapped of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
What is the demand?
Lawyers for Meghan and Harry sent a letter to Backgrid USA, the photo agency that hired the photographers, demanding they turn over any materials obtained from that night.
“We hereby demand that Backgrid immediately provide us with copies of all photos, videos, and/or films taken last night by the freelance photographers after the couple left their event and over the next several hours,” the letter says, TMZ reported.
The royals want the images and video to improve their security, the letter explains.
What was the response?
Attorneys representing Backgrid USA fired back a legendary response that combines legal finesse and historical humor.
“In America, as I’m sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it: Third parties cannot just demand it be given to them, as perhaps Kings can do,” the statement said. “Perhaps you should sit down with your client and advise them that his English rules of royal prerogative to demand that the citizenry hand over their property to the Crown were rejected by this country long ago.
“We stand by our founding fathers,” the statement declared.
Backgrid’s four photographers, the letter added, “had no intention of causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras.”
What is the background?
That chase, the royals alleged, was “near catastrophic.” But the New York Police Department rebuffed such claims as overblown.
“The NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” the NYPD said in a statement. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”
The taxi driver who eventually picked up Meghan and Harry also downplayed the hyperbolic description of what happened.
“I don’t think I would call it a chase,” taxi driver Sukhcharn Singh told the Washington Post. “I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie. They were quiet and seemed scared but it’s New York — it’s safe.”
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