Whether or not Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were involved in a "near catastrophic" car chase with paparazzi in New York City on Tuesday, security experts who work with famous people believe they might not have taken the proper precautions. "They likely did not have any formal protective training to deal with this type of situation," Kent Moyer of the L.A.-based World Protection Group tells USA Today. "Did they do any prior route planning? Did someone do any sort of surveillance? And what was the plan to get out of a potential problem and did their security have any evasive driving training?" Jerry Heying of the New York-based International Protection Group agrees, asking "Did they have enough personnel within their detail?" Despite social media and smartphones allowing celebrities, dignitaries and other notable figures more direct interaction with fans, the public's lust for paparazzi shots is still voracious, begging the question: Are paparazzi a danger in the U.S.? No, Moyer and Heying,say. Still, celebs need to have better coordination when appearing in public and dealing with those photographers who are paid to shoot nearly every move they make.
Most celebrities use "executive dignitary protection" – a security detail that can go to great lengths to ensure safety and is comparable to the Secret Service. Such a detail involves extensive planning. "We call that 'advance work,'" said Heying. "We can get notice from a client sometimes months, weeks, days – sometimes hours in advance. Depending on who they are, we coordinate with that city's local police precinct if necessary and reach out to the venue where they are supposed to be and likely ask 'What door are we going to come in, coming out of, and how close can our detail get to the entrances and exits?' The office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said the couple and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, were followed for more than two hours by half a dozen vehicles Tuesday after leaving a charity event. The office said that the paparazzi's chase to capture photos of Harry and Meghan "resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers." The statement called the incident "near catastrophic." Moyer said if Harry and Meghan had a security detail of two or more cars, they would've tried strategies including having one or more vehicles in the rear driving slower to try and hit red lights and stall the paparazzi's relentless pursuit, while the lead "principal car" drives ahead and can possibly take alternate routes.