James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claims

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James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses
James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claims

Prince Harry has spoken out on 'sadistic' longstanding rumours that his biological father is Major James Hewitt.

In his upcoming biography Spare, the Duke of Sussex, 38, broke his silence on the claims and revealed his father the now-King Charles would make fun of them.

Rumours began after Princess Diana confirmed shortly before her death that she had a five-year affair with Major Hewitt in the 1980s – with some hearsay that Diana had a child with him.

In his book Spare, the Duke of Sussex said of the speculation: "One cause of the rumour was Major Hewitt's red hair, but another was sadism."

James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claims eridzriquhikeinvJames Hewitt had an affair with Prince Harry's mum Princess Diana (Getty Images)
James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claimsThe Duke of Sussex denied 'sadistic' rumours that Hewitt is his father (Getty Images)

He added how tabloid readers "loved the idea" that he wasn't Charles' biological son and "never got tired of that 'joke'."

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Harry then added that he wondered if the rumour was to paint him as a "laughing stock".

The Duke of Sussex then insisted that Diana and Major Hewitt didn't meet until "long after I was born".

But, who is Major James Hewitt? And where is he now? Here, we take a look

Who is Major James Hewitt?

James Lifford Hewitt is a former British Army cavalry officer.

He was born in to a military family a his father, John Hewitt, was an officer in the British Navy.

James went on to attend Millfield School and joined the Army at age 20 as he was drafted into the Brigade of Guards.

Did Major James Hewitt have an affair with Princess Diana?

Hewitt and the late Princess of Wales met in 1986, when the pair attended a party thrown by Diana's lady-in-waiting Hazel West.

James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claimsHewitt met the late Princess of Wales in 1986 (WireImage)
James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claimsThe memoir of Prince Harry will be published globally on January 10 (Penguin Random House)

The pair are said to have "got on famously" during their first meeting, according to Diana's royal protection officer, Ken Wharfe, who wrote about the romance in his book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, Town and Country reports.

Ken added: "He told her he was a riding instructor and, when she confessed she was afraid of horses, offered to help her overcome her fear."

After Hewitt was appointed as Diana's riding instructor, the pair are said to have become romantically involved during a time when Charles and Diana's marriage was on the rocks as the now King was said to be romantically involved with Camilla.

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The couple's affair is said to have lasted a number of years.

Hewitt has given insights into his romance with Diana in the past as he told Australian television program, Sunday Night in 2017: "I’d cook and [Diana] would wash up."

He added: "Just dinner and relaxing and laughing."

At the end of the 1980s, Hewitt was given command of a tank squadron, which meant he had to go abroad.

James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claimsJames and Diana are said to have got on 'famously' on the night they met (Ron Dadswell/REX/Shutterstock)

Diana is said to have felt "betrayed" Major Hewitt "chose his career over her".

The pair are said to have stayed in touch after he was stationed in Saudi Arabia in 1990, but their romance was over.

In 1994, shortly after he retired from the Army, Hewitt cooperated with author Anna Pasternak and wrote a tell-all book on his romance with Diana, titled Princess in Love.

The book claimed Diana and Hewitt had an affair between 1986 and 1991, before the Princess of Wales' marriage to Prince Charles formally ended in 1992.

James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claimsPrincess Diana admitted she’d fallen in love with Army Officer James Hewitt in a 1995 interview with Martin Bashir (Press Association)

Less than a year after Charles and Diana's divorce, she discussed the rumoured romance in her explosive BBC Panorama interview.

She admitted her relationship with James was "more than a friendship".

Diana said of Hewitt's participation in the book: "Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down."

She added that much of the book was "fantasy".

Where is Major James Hewitt now?

Following Diana's tragic death in 1997, Hewitt has made a number of media appearances to discuss his romance with the late Princess of Wales.

James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claimsJames Hewitt has made a number of TV appearances after his book (mirror.co.uk)

In 1999, he released the book Love and War, sharing more details about the affair and has given numerous interviews over the years.

He has also made a number of TV appearances including a Channel 5 reality show called Back to Reality in 2004, The X Factor : Battle of the Stars in 2006, as well as an episode of Top Gear.

In 2009, he opened a bar valled the Polo House in Marbella, Spain. But, in 2013 the business is said to have folded.

In March 2021, it was reported James was working as a gardener in the grounds of the flat he lives in with his elderly mother.

He was seen this week driving a mower and raking leaves on the tranquil Devon estate, the MailOnline reported.

However, he is said to have fallen out with a neighbour over his green-fingered skills after he failed to make a 100-year-old Yew tree "look regal".

James Hewitt now as Prince Harry addresses 'sadistic' paternity claimsHarry broke silence on rumours Hewitt is his biological father (Getty Images)

Hewitt's neighbour Barry Presswell, who also live in the building in Farringdon near Exeter, said at the time: "He made a dog's dinner of a beautiful 100-year-old yew tree which we can see from our window and used to love."

In October 2022, it was reported James had set up a not-for-profit initiative to help vulnerable people escape from Ukraine amid the Russian war.

James helped to set up an organised called Humanitarian Online Payments (HOP), which brought convoys of Ukrainians made up of nine vehicles out of the warzone.

Hewitt co-founded the organisation with Mikey Stewart Richardson.

Prince Harry's book Spare, is due to be released January 10

Amy Denman

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