A photo agency that took pictures during what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claim was a dangerous car chase has reportedly refused a demand to hand the images over.
The BBC reported that entertainment picture agency Backgrid said it had rejected a legal demand to share the photographs taken in New York on Tuesday night.
But the incident has been played down by police sources and a taxi driver whose car they were in for part of the evening.
According to the BBC, Backgrid said it has received a letter from the Sussexes' legal team demanding "copies of all photos, videos, and/or films" taken on Tuesday night by freelance photographers after the couple left the event and the hours following.
Watch: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's taxi driver recalls car chase
The agency said it had replied in a letter that it rejects "English rules of royal prerogative".
"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.
"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.
It went on to say that Backgrid stood by "our founding fathers".
In a statement responding to the Sussexes' claims, Backgrid had previously said it had received photos and videos of the evening's events from four freelance photographers, three of whom were in cars and one of whom was riding a bicycle.
It said: “It is important to note that these photographers have a professional responsibility to cover newsworthy events and personalities, including public figures such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.”
The agency said that according to the photographers involved, there had been "no near-collisions or near-crashes", adding that the photographers had reported feeling that the couple was "not in immediate danger at any point".
It said the photographers also alleged that "one of the four SUVs from Prince Harry's security escort was driving in a manner that could be perceived as reckless."
Who are Backgrid?
Backgrid describes itself as a "global premier celebrity news agency", supplying the world's top news outlets with "real-time content from the world's top photographers".
Its website describes how its contributor pool includes more than 1,000 photographers from around the world, with sales spanning more than 60 countries across five continents.
It boasts: "Each week, we produce over 20,000 high-quality, fully tagged photos and videos. We have the industry's highest sales conversion rate for premium content."
How do paps get celebrity pictures?
Paparazzi can get celebrity pictures in multiple ways, brand and culture expert Nick Ede told Yahoo News UK.
"A talent can inform a photographer directly, a publicist can, the venue where they are going can give a tip-off, or they can do their research and see that the celebs will be at a high-profile event and know that they will get pictures from there."
“Due to social media, the way Paparazzi works in this modern day is a little different," added Will Hobson, PR Director at Rise at Seven.
"If a celebrity posts their location you will instantly know their whereabouts. However this does depend totally on what level of celebrity you are, some are known to call the paps themselves, after all, publicity is needed to stay relevant.
"However, if you’re on the level of the Kardashians I imagine tip-offs are still a big thing and if a good photo is caught big money can still be available.
"This isn’t as big as it used to be mainly down to the likes of Instagram & TikTok - a celebrity can control the narrative themselves and reveal exclusives that a pap might have got before. The chase becomes more intense now as budgets are getting tighter due to social media”.
How much money do they make and how does it all work?
There are different arrangements that lead to paparazzi pictures appearing in the media, explains Ede.
"Some will be commissioned to take images with a flat fee for them from the venue/ event with a guarantee to end up in the news and online.
"Others they will sell the images to the outlets and receive a revenue from their bosses who are the picture agencies who represent the images and hold the rights to them."
In the heyday of paparazzi pictures, some were said to have been sold for six figures but nowadays sums can vary hugely.
"Rates are far lower than they used to be," said Ede. "We are talking hundreds rather than thousands for images of celebrities."
According to some estimates, the photographer themselves can receive something between 20% and 70% of the royalties their picture earns - but that depends on the deal they negotiate with the agency they sell it to.
In 2015, a member of the paparazzi wrote a column in Cosmopolitan saying the best in the business earned £60,000 a year, but would have £15,000 of expenses.
But with social media squeezing paparazzi incomes, job analyst site Glassdoor estimates UK-based paparazzi will now earn around £33,000 a year, with additional bonuses offered.
Has the paparazzi industry changed since the death of Harry's mother, Diana?
Prince Harry has been outspoken in his views on the paparazzi since the death of his mother in 1997.
According to Ede, the industry has changed somewhat recently, with safety more of a priority.
"There is a much better understanding between talent and the photographers nowadays and safety is far more of a priority for both the talent and the paparazzi who risk life and limb to get a picture that their rivals wont so they can make money from it," he told Yahoo.
"I think with what happened to Harry's mother this did change the world of the pap for a while then it got insatiable again with stars like Britney Spears.
"But since Harry has been more vocal and called it out once again there is a much larger respect for the talent and their safety too."