Prince Harry and Meghan Markle switching from a chauffeured, protected SUV to a New York City taxicab during an alleged chase involving paparazzi photographers Tuesday night makes “zero sense,” a security expert told Fox News Digital Wednesday.
“It makes zero sense,” AllSTAR Security President Mark Selden told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. “Completely zero sense. “You’re in a protected environment. You’re with your security.”
The Sussexes and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland were pursued in their car by photographers after a charity event in New York City Tuesday evening, briefly taking refuge at a police station before being whisked away in a yellow taxicab.
“They were at a police precinct, which is the safest environment they could be in,” Selden added. “And that’s where they should have stayed in a safe environment, never should have left.”
The couple’s car stopped at a police precinct around 18 blocks from where they attended the Women of Vision Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan and eventually grabbed a yellow cab from there.
Sukhcharn Singh, the cab driver, told The Associated Press it was one of Markle and Harry’s private security guards who flagged him down as he drove on 67th Street near the police station.
The couple spent several minutes at the station, waiting for the situation to de-escalate. Once it was safe, they left in a taxi, an official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and did so on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press.
“They gave me a $50” for a $17 fare, he told the AP. “I mean, when I’m going around the block that’s more than enough.”
The taxi driver told The AP that Markle and Harry were about to give their destination when a garbage truck blocked their path, and instead, one of the royals told him to circle back to the precinct and gave him a generous tip.
He said he’s familiar with paparazzi chases because of his work protecting dignitaries, celebrities and business people.
A former Secret Service agent said the royal couple will continue to attract paparazzi, and they’ll need more police support in the future if they plan to stay in the U.S. (Kevin Mazur)
“When you are someone that’s in the public eye, you’re always going to be a bit aware that there’s going to be paparazzi looking at you. That’s part of your job,” he explained, “but at the same time, if you put yourself in an unsafe situation, you have to know how to get yourself to safety and your security, that’s their job to know that.”
Former Secret Service agent Dan Emmett told Fox News that the Sussexes would need “more police support” if they plan to stay in the U.S.
Selden echoed Emmett’s statement, saying: “I can’t imagine running around New York City for two hours and not finding safety is beyond me. I mean, you can walk into a hotel, you can walk into a building, you can walk into a Fifth Avenue building, and they’ll close the door behind them and lead you to safety … I mean, there are buildings you can walk into that will take you in for cover. I mean, all over New York.”
The incident was also a reminder of Princess Diana’s deadly car crash following a high-speed paparazzi chase in Paris in 1997, though in this case, police said, no one was hurt.