Prince Harry and Meghan Markle experienced a distressing encounter reminiscent of the late Princess Diana's tragic past. The couple, accompanied by Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, found themselves embroiled in a perilous car chase involving aggressive paparazzi in New York City on Tuesday, May 16.

In a statement obtained by CNN, the couple's spokesperson described the incident as a "near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi." The pursuit lasted for over two hours, resulting in numerous near collisions involving other motorists, pedestrians, and even two NYPD officers.

While acknowledging that public figures attract a certain level of public interest, the statement emphasized that "it should never come at the cost of anyone's safety." The couple also criticized the intrusive practices of paparazzi, stating, "Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in NYC attending the Women of Vision Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom, where Meghan was a guest. The couple was also seen publicly with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.

Prince Harry has been particularly sensitive about his family's safety, given the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. Diana died in a car crash following a high-speed paparazzi chase, an event that still haunts Harry.

In his docuseries, "The Me You Can't See," Harry expressed his desire for a normal life. He revealed a recurring memory of his mother, saying, "Strapped in the car, seatbelt across. My brother [Prince William] in the car as well, and my mother driving and being chased by three, four, five mopeds with paparazzi on."

Describing the horrifying daily events leading up to Diana's death, Harry said, "She was almost unable to drive because of the tears, there was no protection... I was so angry with what happened to [Diana] and the fact that there was no justice at all."

Haunted by the past, Harry has made it his mission to protect his family from similar ordeals. He admitted to suppressing his painful memories of Diana, saying, "I don't want to think about her, because if I think about [Diana] then it's going to bring up the fact that I can't bring her back and it's just going to make me sad... I just decided not to talk about it."