Photo Agency Rejects 'Royal' Demand From Harry, Meghan

Backgrid says it won't hand over photographs from NYC paparazzi chase
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2023 6:26 AM CDT
Photo Agency Rejects 'Royal' Demand From Harry, Meghan
In this image from video, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle exit Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Ballroom on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 in New York.   (AP Photo)

A celebrity photo agency says it has rejected a request from lawyers for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for photos of Tuesday night's chaotic paparazzi chase in New York City. TMZ reports that the California-based Backgrid agency received a letter from the couple's lawyer demanding that it "immediately provide us with copies of all photos, videos, and/or films" taken by freelance photographers after Harry and Meghan left an event Tuesday night. In its response, the agency mocked what it described as an attempt to assert "royal prerogative" over copyrighted material.

"In America, as I'm sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it: Third parties cannot just demand it be given to them, as perhaps Kings can do," Backgrid said, per the BBC. "Perhaps you should sit down with your client and advise them that his English rules of royal prerogative to demand that the citizenry hand over their property to the Crown were rejected by this country long ago." The company added: "We stand by our founding fathers." The BBC notes that there is no "royal prerogative" in the UK.

A spokesperson for the couple described the Tuesday night chase as "near catastrophic," though some witnesses called that an exaggeration. Police said photographers made transport "challenging" but no arrests were made. Backgrid said it "had no intention of causing any distress or harm" when it deployed four photographers, three cars, and a bike to get footage of the couple, Deadline reports. (More Prince Harry stories.)

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