Princess Diana’s Ex-Bodyguard Downplays Harry & Meghan’s NYC Chase – Hollywood Life

Princess Diana’s Ex-Bodyguard Calls Harry & Meghan’s NYC Car Chase A ‘Nuisance,’ Not ‘Near Catastrophic’

Prince Harry said he had a 'near catastrophic' car chase with the paparazzi, but a former bodyguard for Princess Diana seemingly came to the paparazzi's defense.

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“The paparazzi, at best, can be talked to, but at worst they’re a nuisance,” said Ken Wharfe, a former bodyguard for Princess Diana, when discussing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s recent “relentless pursuit” by “highly aggressive” photographers. Ken appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday, a day after news broke of how photographers chased Harry, 38, Meghan, 41, and her mother, Doria Ragland, through Manhattan. Ken, who oversaw Diana’s 24/7 protection from 1987-1993, said the paparazzi is “not out to cause the death of any one person. So, I think we have to be a little bit careful there,” per the New York Post.

(Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Wharfe suggested that Harry’s security team may have been too inexperienced to handle the situation. “The protection team he has got at the moment has never dealt with such a high-profile celebrity as Harry and Meghan. To them, I have some sympathy,” said Wharfe. “The whole point is you have to take advice on this, and I don’t know to what extent the New York Police Department were involved, but basically, it’s something that needs to be properly stage-managed.”

A rep for Prince Harry issued a statement on Wednesday (May 17) about the alleged chase that took place after Meghan was honored at the  Women of Vision Awards, held at New York City’s Ziegfeld Ballroom. Last night, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi,” reads the statement.


“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers,” the statement continued. Harry and Meghan acknowledged that “being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety. Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved.”

The NYPD confirmed that they “assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination, and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”

Harry’s ordeal echoed the incident that resulted in Princess Diana’s death in 1997. Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, were killed in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi. Their driver, Henri Paul, lost control of their Mercedes-Benz W140, colliding with a Pont de l’Alma tunnel wall before striking a support column. Paul and Fayed died instantly, while Diana succumbed to her wounds at a hospital shortly afterward. The crash was attributed to Paul driving at high speeds while being under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol.

Ken Wharfe has written a number of books about his time as a royal protection officer, and he’s been vocal about Harry in the past. In August 2022, he wrote about Harry in a tribute marking the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. “Harry talks passionately about the media as far as his mother is concerned, and that is understandable, especially in the way he relates it all to Meghan,” wrote Wharfe, per Newsweek.

“He is rather overprotective of Diana in that respect, as he must now know that, in the latter part of her life in particular, she did liaise and negotiate with certain sections of the media,” added Wharfe. “I think his wish to speak publicly is deeper. It is the way Diana and Meghan have been dealt with by members of the Royal Family, the lack of support his wife received, in the same way as Diana was never given approval or support for what she did.”