FORMER Army captain James Hewitt came to public attention in the mid-1990s after he disclosed an affair with Princess Diana.
The 62-year-old has been forced to deny numerous times over the years he is Prince Harry’s dad. Here’s everything we know about him.
James Hewitt is a former British Army captain who had an affair with Princess Diana in the 1990sCredit: Getty Images
Who is James Hewitt?
James Hewitt is a former household cavalry officer in the British Army.
The 62-year-old was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1958 but was brought up in Kent and Devon before being educated at one of the country’s top public schools – Millfield in Somerset.
He attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Life Guards – a senior army regiment – as a second lieutenant in 1978.
In 1991 he served as a Challenger tank commander in the Gulf War but failed the exam for promotion to major three times.
Hewitt retired from the Army in March 1994 after 17 years of service and opened up a golf driving range.
The following year rumours emerged that he had been having a five-year affair with Princess Diana.
In 2006 he appeared on a celebrity spin-off of the X Factor as part of a duo with Rebecca Loos.
In 2009 Hewitt set up trendy bar The Polo House in Marbella, Spain, which subsequently closed in 2013.
Princess Diana with son Harry in 1995Credit: PA:Press Association
Did James Hewitt have an affair with Princess Diana?
Princess Diana confessed in a BBC Panorama programme in 1995 that she’d had an affair with James Hewitt.
But the pair were forced apart when Hewitt was deployed to serve in the Gulf War, before splitting permanently when their infidelity was exposed in the media.
Diana and Prince Charles separated in 1992, divorcing four years later.
Her former protection officer and confidante, Ken Wharfe, wrote about the affair in his book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret.
He said: “Hewitt, a natural womaniser, gave her the attention and affection she relished, and then the passion she yearned for.
“At first, Diana refused to concede to me that her affair was anything less than innocent. ‘Nothing is going on,’ she would say, her face flushing red, as we drove back from a tryst, usually with the atmosphere tense in the car.
“I would assure her that I had no interest in anything but her safety, but she must have thought I was stupid or deaf.
“The pair usually met at an old cottage in Devon belonging to Shirley, Hewitt’s mother, where the creaking bedroom floorboards told the story more loudly than any confession.”
Hewitt reportedly tried to sell 64 love letters from Lady Di, disclosing intimate details of their tryst for £10million, according to the Daily Mail.
James Hewitt has always denied he is Prince Harry’s biological fatherCredit: Getty Images – WireImage
What are the false rumours he’s Prince Harry’s dad?
James Hewitt is not Prince Harry’s dad.
He has always denied the speculation which began after news of his relationship with Princess Diana became public more than 20 years ago.
In a recent interview with Australian Channel Seven’s Sunday Night host Melissa Doyle, Hewitt was asked if he was the royal’s dad and he replied: “No I’m not.”
Ken Wharfe also wrote about the speculation in his book, which he described as “nonsense” and said that it had “greatly angered” Princess Diana.
He said: “A simple comparison of dates proves it is impossible for Hewitt to be Harry’s father. Only once did I ever discuss it with her, and Diana was in tears about it.
“Harry was born on September 15, 1984, which means he was conceived around Christmas 1983, when his brother, William, was 18 months old.
“Diana did not meet James Hewitt until the summer of 1986.
“The red hair that gossips so love to cite as ‘proof’ is, of course, a Spencer trait, as anyone who has ever seen a photograph of Diana’s sister, Jane, for example, as a young woman will be able to testify.”
Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell has insisted the claims are “farcical”.
He told The Mirror: “James Hewitt is NOT Harry’s dad.
“It’s something that’s been made up. It was just because Harry had red hair, but all the Spencers have red hair.”
James Hewitt outside his Chelsea home in 1999Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd