Princess Diana’s former bodyguard came to the defense of the paparazzi involved in what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle claimed was an hours-long “near catastrophic” car chase — insisting that the shutterbugs are “at worst a nuisance” but “are not out to cause the death” of anyone.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed that they were subjected to a “relentless pursuit” by “highly aggressive” photographers as they were returning from the Women of Vision Awards, where Meghan was honored for her advocacy, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan Tuesday night.
In an interview with ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” Thursday, Ken Wharfe, who was in charge of Princess Diana’s round-the-clock security between 1987 and 1993, downplayed the threat from the paparazzi.
“The paparazzi, at best, can be talked to, but at worst they’re a nuisance,” he said, citing his own previous experience.
“But they’re not out to cause the death of any one person. So, I think we have to be a little bit careful there.”
Wharfe, who also previously acted as a bodyguard to Diana’s sons when they were children, suggested that Harry’s security team may have been too inexperienced to get a handle on the situation.
“The protection team he has got at the moment has never dealt with such a high-profile celebrity as Harry and Meghan,” Wharfe said. “To them, I have some sympathy.”
However, he continued: “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.”
An eyewitness speaking to Page Six also accused the Sussexes’ security of being “a–holes from the start” and escalating the situation.
“They were mocking the paps, provoking them. You expect that kind of thing from security for rappers or whatever, but with good security — which this should be — you expect them to be similar to secret service,” the source said.
“These security egged on the paps.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD, meanwhile, said the incident was under investigation — but played down the couple’s high-drama claims, describing a somewhat hectic yet overall controlled scene.
“There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” the NYPD said in a statement to The Post. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”
A spokesperson for the high-profile couple said in a statement Wednesday that they were involved “in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi.”
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” the spokesperson said.
An insider told Page Six that the pursuit left Harry, Meghan and Ragland “rattled.”
However, Taxi driver Sukhcharn “Sonny” Singh, who was tapped by the cops to transport Harry and Meghan to their destination, said those claims are “exaggerated.”
“I think that’s all exaggerated … so don’t read too much into that,” he told Sky News.
“New York City is the safest place to be.”
In a separate interview with The Post, Singh described the scene as “pretty crazy” but insisted “it wasn’t scary.”
The Duke and Duchess’ account of the incident drew comparisons to the paparazzi car chase that ended with Princess Diana being killed in a car crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997.
Harry, who was 12 years old when his mother died, has been a vocal critic of intrusive press and has been quoted as saying that he mourns his mother “every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash.”
Mayor Eric Adams also invoked the late Princess of Wales when asked about Tuesday’s incident, which he decried as “reckless and irresponsible” during a press conference Wednesday.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how his mom died,” Adams said of Diana.
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