Prince Harry’s trip back to the U.K. was nearly interrupted when a car chase erupted at Los Angeles International Airport. Harry, who flew to the U.K. Thursday for the unveiling of a Princess Diana statue, arrived at LAX around the same time a driver broke through the fence at a FedEx cargo facility, leading to a high-speed chase.
The Duke had been planning this trip to London for a long time, to finally see the statue of his mother that he and his brother commissioned years ago. The Princess Diana statue will be unveiled on July 1, and Harry will have to battle awkward tensions still looming since his Oprah interview. That isn’t the only obstacle to Prince Harry’s trip, and a car chase around LAX airport is one such obstacle.
Police reported on the incident, claiming that a driver had gotten through airport security by bashing through a fence with his car, though his motive is still unclear. Authorities then pursued the vehicle before the perpetrator was detained. Police said that there were no injuries, however, officials were forced to shut down two runways at LAX during the car chase.
A video of the aftermath shows over a dozen police vehicles, though there was no present danger to the airport or Prince Harry following the apprehension of the perpetrator. Investigators are trying to understand what happened Thursday, and when the driver was attempting to reach a specific flight or person, though no details are available at this time.
Prince Harry, who was reportedly at the airport at the time of the car chase, left for the U.K. 45 minutes later. The black SUV the Duke was riding in was not part of the chase.
Harry notably flew to the United Kingdom without his wife, Meghan Markle, or two children, Archie, and Lilibet. Many speculated that at least Meghan would accompany her husband, who will be forced to face his brother, and the rest of the royal family, for the first time since Prince Philip’s death in April.
Reports went back and forth, some claiming the Duchess would travel with Harry, while others said she will stay home and look after her children. One source claimed that Meghan would make an exception for the ceremony, especially since relations between the Sussexes and the royal family have gotten worse.
At the big event on July 1, Prince Harry will appear alongside his brother, Prince William. They will unveil the statue of their mother together, on what would have been her 60th birthday. The ceremony will be the first time Harry and William appear together since the royal funeral in early April. It’s also the second public appearance the two will share after the bombshell interview, in which Harry and Meghan dropped serious accusations regarding the royal family.
The brothers will walk together to the statue, which will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace. In 2017, the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, the brothers announced that they had commissioned a statue to honor her legacy. Four years later, the unveiling will be a big deal, though tensions may mar the true meaning of the celebration.
It was said that Kate Middleton will act as a mediator for the brothers throughout the ceremony, though Prince Harry and Prince William are expected to act like gentlemen during the festivities, putting the tensions behind them to focus on remembering their mother’s legacy. They all “want the day to be solely about the Princess of Wales’s enduring legacy,” a source explained.