What are the rules for paparazzi photographers?

STORY: When Harry and Meghan were chased by photographers in New York

the prince's spokesperson called it a 'near catastrophic car chase'

while international headlines evoked memories of how Harry's mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997...

...after being pursued by paparazzi.

On the flip side, police in New York described the encounter as relatively brief

and said there had been no injuries, collisions or arrests.

While the details remain murky - it's yet another story in the couples battle with the press.

They cited media intrusion as one of the reasons for stepping back from royal duties and moving to California in 2020

and that same year they filed a U.S. lawsuit against paparazzi for taking 'illegal' pictures of their son Archie.

But what are the rules for these photographers?

It turns out the answer varies depending on where you are..

In the U.S., photographers may take pictures in all public places.

New York does not have specific laws addressing paparazzi.

And the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution explicitly protects the free press from government intrusion.

California is where paparazzi are a constant presences thanks to Hollywood.

It has enacted several laws intended to protect celebrities from harm since Diana's death.

A 2013 law made it a crime to attempt to photograph a child in a harassing manner if it is done so because the child's parent is famous.

Another law created a misdemeanour for anyone who engages in reckless driving specifically in pursuit of images.

The state has also passed a civil statute barring the use of unmanned drones to take photos of people on private property.

In Britain, photographers may take pictures in all public spaces, including photos of people...

...as long as they do not harass members of the public.

There is a law that allows for prosecution if a photographer threatens, stalks, intimidates or causes distress.

Shortly after Diana's death, a voluntary body for British publishers agreed that journalist should not engage in intimidation, harassment, or persistent pursuit and should stop if asked to do so by their target.

There has also been an unwritten understanding between Buckingham Palace and the press not to publish unsolicited pictures of royal children since Diana's death.

News photographers both in the UK and the U.S. operate under ethical standards apart from legal considerations.