Prince Harry, Meghan Markle: did they attract a security drama by jumping from a hotel?
Experts say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could have avoided safety concerns and what they claim was a “nearly disastrous car chase” by staying at a hotel in New York on Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for the royal couple told Fox News Digital that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were involved in a chase “at the hands of a very aggressive ring of paparazzi” that lasted more than two hours.
The NYPD told Fox News Digital that the photographers “made it difficult to transport them” but arrived at their destination safely.
The royals reportedly headed to a friend’s private residence, where they were spending the night, and many believe they did not want to notify the paparazzi of their location.
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Security expert Mark Selden told Fox News Digital why the Duke and Duchess would have benefited from spending the night at a nearby hotel, rather than going to a private home.
“There is security, the doorman, the porters and the staff,” explained the president of AllSTAR Security. “You have built-in security.
“If someone breaks in, you have your own security based on your own floor, either standing outside your door or located in the rooms next to you or across the hall. You’re basically in a fortress.”
Selden, who spent two decades providing professional security to Manhattan’s rich and famous, explained, “You can’t have the same security staying in a residential townhouse.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have claimed they were pursued 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 followed by photographers after leaving the high-profile charity event at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.
Their car took them to the police station, where the couple – along with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and their bodyguard – abandoned their protected SUV and jumped into a yellow taxi, only to return to the police station.
Regarding the high-speed diversions between Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Theater and FDR Drive, Fox News Digital visited several commercial and residential locations along the main thoroughfare. No one witnessed a wild chase, or could recall a commotion on Tuesday night during the time period in question.
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A better option for the beleaguered couple might have been the Carlyle Hotel, named after Scottish author Thomas Carlyle, who has been a celebrity favorite for over 90 years, as well as a favorite of the royal family.
Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, was a frequent stay at the Carlyle before her death in 1997.
“He was probably the most memorable guest we’ve ever had here,” Carlyle’s head concierge, Waldo Hernandez, told People magazine in 2018.
Following royal tradition, Harry’s brother Prince William and Kate Middleton stayed at the Carlyle during their visit to New York in 2014. At the time, Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte.
“Seeing the Duke and Duchess gave me goosebumps,” Hernandez told the outlet. “I saw them four times. And she said, ‘Hi!’ to me, which was pretty 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 her election.
Jackie also lived at the hotel for 10 months after John’s death in 1963 before buying a house on Park Avenue, People magazine reported.
“She’s been 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 which featured George Clooney saying, “(Nowhere) I never stayed to compare to this.”
“The way you’re treated isn’t just a place you come to lay your head,” the star said, according to People magazine.
Jon Hamm echoed Clooney’s comments about the Manhattan hot spot. “
If you stay 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 Met Gala red carpet, which is near the five-star hotel.
Other former VIP guests of the hotel pictured during various stays at the Carlyle include former first lady Nancy Reagan, Woody Allen and Jack Nicholson.
Actress Kate Moss and actor Michael J. Fox were also pictured at the star-studded hotel.
Harry and Markle know the Carlyle, and the prince has previously been spotted at the hotel’s chic Bemelmans Bar.
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Markle is no stranger to upscale New York hotels, as she hosted her baby shower just blocks from the Carlyle at The Mark in 2019.
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.
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Like the Carlyle, The Mark Hotel is a celebrity favorite, with the hotel lobby considered the second Met Gala red carpet.
Fox News Digital’s Chris Eberhart contributed to this report.