Meghan and Harry car chase: Taxi driver who picked them up says he wouldn't 'call it a chase'

The taxi driver who picked up Prince Harry, wife Meghan and Meghan's mother Doria Ragland in New York has downplayed what has been reported as a "near catastrophic" incident with paparazzi, saying he doesn't think he "would call it a chase".

Sukhcharn Singh told The Washington Post "I never felt like I was in danger" after he was on 67th Street near an NYPD precinct when a security guard waved him down.

"It wasn't like a car chase in a movie. (Harry and Meghan) were quiet and seemed scared but it's New York - it's safe."

Singh also told the publication his car was pursued by two vehicles.

"(Photographers) kept following us and were coming next to the car. They took pictures as we stopped and were filming us," he said.

He also hinted the Sussexes had revealed they had already been pursued by paparazzi before they got in his car.

"They had this look on their faces," he told The Associated Press. "All of a sudden paparazzi came out and started taking pictures."

He also said he was told to turn around and go back after the paparazzi swarmed the car, and Harry and Meghan seemed rattled.

"They didn’t say much," Singh said. "They just asked my name and then after that Harry said 'thanks and have a good day'."

The Associated Press said their journey totalled US17 and they generously tipped Singh.

"It was pretty good man. They gave me a $50," he said.

"I mean, when I'm going around the block that's more than enough."

The trio had been attending an awards ceremony in downtown New York when the incident happened.

"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," a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement.

"This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers."

Police refute claims of "two hour chase"

However, New York Mayor Eric Adams refuted claims the chase lasted two hours, saying during a press conference New York was a "densely populated city".

"I would find it hard to believe that there was a two-hour high-speed chase... but we will find out the exact duration of it, but if it's 10 minutes, a 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous in New York City," he said. 

"Any type of high-speed chase that involves something of that nature is inappropriate. Police do it under limited circumstances when they're going after violent people, but to do it because you want to get the shot can turn out to be a place where people can be harmed in a real way.

"I don't think there's many of us who don't recall how his mom died and it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and for something to have happened to them as well."

The Sussexes' unofficial spokesperson and friend Omid Scobie said the paparazzi had been confronted by police "multiple times" as they chased the royal couple, who were on their way to a private residence.

He also alleged photographers drove on a sidewalk, ran through red lights, reversed down a one-way street, took photographs while driving and illegally blocked a moving vehicle in pursuit of their pictures.

The New York Police Department said in a statement they had made no arrests.

Buckingham Palace has yet to make any comment on the incident.