Prince Harry, Meghan Markle: Did they bring security drama on themselves by skipping hotel?


Experts say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could have avoided security troubles and what they claim was a “near catastrophic car chase” by staying at a hotel in New York City Tuesday night.

A spokesperson for the royal couple told Fox News Digital the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were involved in a chase “at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” that lasted over two hours. 

The NYPD told Fox News Digital the photographers “made their transport challenging” but they arrived at their destination safely.

The royals were reportedly headed uptown to a friend’s private residence, where they were spending the night, and many believe they didn’t want to tip off paparazzi to their location.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were allegedly followed by paparazzi “for two hours” after an event in New York City Tuesday night. (Getty Images)

Security expert Mark Selden explained to Fox News Digital why the Duke and Duchess would have benefited from spending the night at a nearby hotel, rather than driving to a private home.

“There is security, doorman, porters and staff,” the AllSTAR Security president explained. “You have built-in safety.

“If anyone breaks in, you have your own security based on your own floor, standing outside your door or situated in the rooms next door to you or across the hall. You are essentially in a fortress.”

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle leaving NYC event

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the security of their SUV, went to a police station, then grabbed a cab during an alleged chase involving paparazzi Tuesday night. (MEGA/GC Images)

Selden, who has spent two decades providing professional security to the rich and famous in Manhattan, explained, “You cannot have the same security staying in a residential townhouse.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed they were chased by photographers in a “relentless” pursuit after leaving the Women of Vision Awards, where Markle was honored for her advocacy work.

Prince Harry and Markle were tailed by photographers after leaving the highly publicized charity event at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. 

Their car took them to a police station, where the couple — along with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and their bodyguard — ditched their protected SUV and jumped into a yellow cab, only to loop back to the precinct.

Dora Ragland wears black dress with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at women foundation event

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, joined the couple at the ceremony. (Kevin Mazur)

In regard to the high-speed hijinks between Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Theater and FDR Drive, Fox News Digital visited several business and residential locations along the main thoroughfare. No one witnessed any wild chase, nor could they recall any commotion Tuesday night during the time in question.


The outside of The Carlyle Hotel

The Hotel Carlyle has been a celebrity hot spot for decades. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

A better option for the beleaguered couple could have been the Carlyle Hotel, named after Scottish author Thomas Carlyle, which has been a celebrity favorite for over 90 years, as well as a favorite of the royal family.

Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, frequently stayed at the Carlyle prior to her death in 1997. 

Princess Diana at the Carlyle Hotel

Princess Diana was seen leaving the Carlyle. (Getty Images)

“That was probably the most memorable guest that we’ve ever had stay here,” Carlyle Chef Concierge Waldo Hernandez told People magazine in 2018.

Following in royal tradition, Harry’s brother, Prince William, and Kate Middleton stayed at the Carlyle when they visited New York City in 2014. At the time, Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte. 

Prince William and Duchess Catherine arrive at the Carlyle Hotel

Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived at the Carlyle Hotel, where they stayed during their official two-day visit to the United States, in December 2014. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

“To actually see the Duke and the Duchess was like goosebumps to me,” Hernandez told the outlet. “I saw them four times. And she said, ‘Hi!’ to me, which was kind of cool.”

The hotel has also hosted royalty from Denmark, Greece, Spain and Sweden, according to Forbes.

John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Kennedy, stayed at the Carlyle while the former president held a meeting with Eleanor Roosevelt just after his election. 

John F. Kennedy talks with Eleanor Roosevelt

John F. Kennedy talked with Eleanor Roosevelt during a breakfast meeting at Kennedy’s headquarters, the Carlyle Hotel, in Manhattan. (Getty Images)

Jackie also lived in the hotel for 10 months after John died in 1963 before purchasing a home on Park Avenue, People magazine reported. 

Jacqueline Kennedy leaves the Carlyle Hotel

Jackie Kennedy was pictured leaving the Carlyle Hotel. (Getty Images)

“She came in here a lot,” Hernandez told the outlet. “She actually met Audrey Hepburn at the Carlyle, which is really cool.”

A documentary was made about the hotel, “Always at The Carlyle,in 2018 that featured George Clooney saying, “[Nowhere] I’ve ever stayed to compares to this.”

“The way you’re treated, this isn’t just a place you come and lay your head,” the star said, according to People magazine.

George Clooney The Carlyle Hotel

George Clooney poses for a portrait at the Carlyle in 2014. (Matt McClain)

Jon Hamm echoed Clooney’s comments about the Manhattan hot spot. “

If you’re staying here, you feel like you’ve made it,” the actor said, adding, “I’ve never stayed here.”

Stars such as Anna Wintour, Bella Hadid and Rihanna have stayed at the Carlyle while preparing to walk the red carpet at the Met Gala, which is near the five-star hotel.

Rihanna leaves the Carlyle Hotel

Rihanna leaves the Carlyle on the way to the Met Gala in 2017. (Rebecca Smeyne/Getty Images)

Other past VIP hotel guests pictured during various stays at the Carlyle include former first lady Nancy Reagan, Woody Allen and Jack Nicholson.

Woody Allen at the Carlyle Hotel

Woody Allen entered the Cafe Carlyle in October 2007. (Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)

Nancy Reagan at the Carlyle Hotel

Nancy Reagan in front of the Carlyle Hotel.   (Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)

Jack Nicholson at the Carlyle Hotel

Jack Nicholson entered the Carlyle Hotel in November 2000. (Arnaldo Magnani/Liaison)

Actress Kate Moss and actor Michael J. Fox have also been photographed at the star-studded hotel.

Michael J. Fox at the Carlyle Hotel

Michael J. Fox seen leaving the Carlyle Hotel in November 2000. (Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)

Kate Moss leaves the Carlyle Hotel

Kate Moss leaving the Carlyle Hotel in May 2019. (Pierre Suu/GC images)

Harry and Markle are familiar with the Carlyle, and the prince has previously been spotted at the hotel’s swanky Bemelmans Bar.


Markle is no stranger to upscale hotels in New York, as she held her baby shower just a few blocks away from the Carlyle at The Mark in 2019.

Meghan Markle leaves the Mark Hotel

Meghan Markle was seen walking out of The Mark Hotel in February 2019. (Raymond Hall/GC Images)

The outside of The Mark Hotel

The Mark Hotel for Meghan’s baby shower Feb. 20, 2019. (James Devaney/GC Images)

According to The Observer, Markle stayed in the hotel’s two-story Grant Penthouse Suite, which is the largest in the world, with a price tag of $75,000 per night.

Markle’s baby shower included a slew of high-profile guests, including George Clooney’s wife, Amal. Amal stayed at the Carlyle, after celebrating with Markle at The Mark.

Amal Clooney arrives at The Carlyle

Amal Clooney arrived to the Carlyle after attending Meghan Markle’s baby shower at The Mark in February 2019. (James Devaney/GC Images)


Like the Carlyle, The Mark hotel is a celebrity favorite, with the hotel lobby being referred to as the second red carpet for the Met Gala.

Fox News Digital’s Chris Eberhart contributed to this report.

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