It’s a car chase that’s turned into a public relations car crash.
Friends of the British Royal Family are reportedly mocking Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “unraveling” claim that they were caught up in a “near-catastrophic” car chase on Tuesday night.
The Sussexes’ spokesperson released a statement saying the couple was hounded by “a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” after they left the Women of Vision awards in Manhattan, resulting in a “relentless pursuit” with “multiple near collisions” that lasted more than 2 hours.
But in the days since, multiple public figures, including NYC Mayor Eric Adams, have cast doubt on the dramatic story. Even the stars of “The View” slammed the pair for their “misleading” statement, with Whoopi Goldberg saying it would cut their “credibility in half.”
The backlash appears to be schadenfreude for friends of the Royal Family, with one pal of Prince William’s poking fun at the Sussexes while speaking with the Daily Beast on Friday.
“I thought they were leaving the royal family for a quieter life. If flashbulbs give Harry flashbacks, I don’t understand why he is going to award ceremonies,” the anonymous friend mocked.
They added: “William and Catherine have put up with s – – t like this in the past. Everyone understands his anger at the photographers, but making hysterical statements doesn’t help matters, especially when, as the queen might have said, recollections may vary.”
Meanwhile, one friend of King Charles’ also spoke with the publication, saying that the monarch “will completely understand Harry being upset at being pursued by the paparazzi.”
“He knows how scary it can be,” the insider declared. “But he has always tried to get Harry to understand that complaining about photographers or the media is pointless. It just makes it all worse.”
One public relations expert said it was a disaster for the Duke and Duchess, stating: “If I had to guess, I would say this is Harry going, ‘This is unacceptable, I’m going to say something,’ and no one having the balls to say, ‘Well, maybe not, sir, that would be really f – – king stupid and it is going to totally overshadow everything your wife has been doing tonight, her big comeback.’ This is what happens when people do their own PR.”
In the days since the Sussex’s statement, public figures have mocked the couple’s claims.
Whoopi Goldberg hit out at the Sussex’s spokesperson during a segment on Thursday’s edition of “The View,” saying the word “chase” implied that the alleged caper took place at high speed.
“When you use that kind of verbiage know that your credibility will get cut in half because New Yorkers will say ‘Nobody moves that fast,’ ” she stated.
“I think people know if it was possible to have car chases in New York we’d all make it to the theater on time,” Goldberg added as the audience laughed.
Co-host Sara Haines similarly shaded the royal couple for their statement, bluntly declaring: “The terms they used were misleading.”
Alyssa Farrah Griffin agreed, calling the couple’s statement “a p.r. failure.”
Meanwhile Piers Morgan, Megyn Kelly and Caitlyn Jenner have all also ridiculed the Sussexes’ statement about the car chase.
On Wednesday, the New York Police Department released a statement regarding the couple’s claims, saying they “assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
“There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” a police official said. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination, and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests in regard.”
Markle and Harry were with the duchess’ mom, Doria Ragland, at the Women of Vision event in Midtown.
The trio and a security guard were purportedly being driven from the event to a private residence on the Upper East Side after the glitzy soiree.
However, the group was reportedly forced to flee the vehicle following the onset of aggressive paparazzi.
They subsequently stopped in at the NYPD’s 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side, before being picked up in a yellow cab to drive them onward to their destination. However, they were later dropped back at the precinct for fear the photographers would find out the location of the residence in which they were staying.
The cabbie, Sonny Singh, spoke with The Post Wednesday, implying that the Sussexes’ dramatic statement was hyperbolic.
“I never felt like I was in danger. It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie,” Singh said. “They were quiet and seemed scared but it’s New York — it’s safe.”