Where many celebrities will find themselves letting go of a rumour after it has made its rounds through a 24 hour news cycle, the Royal Family who serves a public with a very long memory, does not have this luxury. One rumour that the Royal Family has been rebuffing for decades is the rumour that the father of Prince Harry may as well be named “not Prince Charles.” For years the Royal Family has pish-poshed the notion that any man other than Prince Charles is Harry’s father, and thought this rumour had long since found its way in the place where rumours go to die. The Telegraph however has reported otherwise on Dec. 28, reporting that a new play titled “Truth, Lies, Diana” is hoping to revive a rumour that the real father of Prince Harry is a man named by James Hewitt who reportedly had a five-year-long affair with Princess Diana.
For Royal watchers that have been following the Royal Family for decades, this affair is anything but headline news. What is news about this affair however is that talks of this affair is rearing its head again. It is an affair between Princess Diana and a former cavalry officer for the British Army, James Hewitt that some people want to start talking about, regardless of the consequences.
James Hewitt has already suffered immeasurable consequences as a result of this alleged affair. He lost respect and admiration, and even status, in his ranks in the British Army. The Telegraph reported at the time that he also almost committed suicide over the aftermath of having a relationship with a member of the Royal Family.
In a 1995 interview with BBC’s “Panorama”, Princess Diana openly admitted to the affair making the term “allegedly” with this affair decrease in significance. Upon airing, James Hewitt was immediately declared “persona non grata” in the ranks of the British Army. The Telegraph reports this was the ultimate blow to him, and he packed up his car and headed to France. He told the Telegraph,
“I got in my car and loaded a few things up to get on the ferry to go to France – to shoot myself. And then my mother insisted on coming with me. And, if she hadn’t, I would have probably shot myself. So I owe her my life really.”
Relationship advice for a Royal is, complicated at best. For an individual dating a Royal, likely even more so. It was bad enough that James and Princess Diana had been “outed”, then the rumours that Prince Harry was James’ son began to surface.
Like any good “mister” to a member of the Royal Family, Hewitt took to the press and categorically denied that he could not possibly be the father to Prince Harry. He told the BBC,
“There really is no possibility whatsoever that I am Harry’s father. I can absolutely assure you that I am not.”
While Princess Diana has never officially stated when the affair began, James claims that he and Princess Diana began their relationship after Prince Harry began to walk. One matter that did not help James’ pleas was the fact that both he and Prince Harry had the same shocking red hair, an image trait that can only occur through the pairing of two recessive genes. According to the BBC, on the release of photographer Mario Testino’s Prince Harry’s eighteenth birthday photos, James had an answer for that.
“Admittedly the red hair is similar to mine and people say we look alike. I have never encouraged these comparisons and although I was with Diana for a long time I must state once and for all that I am not Harry’s father…..Looking at the pictures I have to say he’s a much more handsome chap than I ever was.”
James Hewitt is not the only chap that is “protesting much” over the alleged paternity matter of Prince Harry. St. James Palace has always declined to dignify the matter with a comment, but anyone that knows how life behind the gates work, staffers don’t have a problem dignifying such matters with their thoughts. Or their published works on the matter, should they be so lucky.
A former bodyguard to Princess Diana has in fact taken to support James Hewitt in his book on Princess Diana. Ken Wharfe, former bodyguard to the late Lady Di says it is this very trifle gossip that Lady Diana Spencer loathed so much, and one of the very reasons her demise was so tragic. On the matter of the paternity of Prince Harry he says,
“The malicious rumours that still persist about the paternity of Prince Harry used to anger Diana greatly. The nonsense should be scotched here and now. Harry was born on 15 September, 1984. Diana did not meet James until the summer of 1986, and the red hair gossips so love to cite as proof is, of course, a Spencer trait.”
It’s never a bad thing to see rumours quashed in print by sources as credible as Ken Wharfe. Even so, James Hewitt has not accomplished much in the way of gaining the public’s, or even the Royals, affection since the scandal came to light and the rumours started surfacing. In 2003 he “took to the press” again, but not in a way that was considered favourable by the Royal Family.
In fact, taking to the press is never considered favourable by the Royal Family on any matter. Princess Diana was reportedly already mired with James for having taken to the press over their relationship, and the disastrous consequences that would have on her children. This was the very reason she had to go on BBC’s Panorama to tell her side of the story.
But James it appeared to many, was bit by the bug that feeds greed, fame, and the perks of life close to the Royals. The BBC reported in 2003 that James Hewitt was trying to sell letters that had been written between he and Princess Diana during the course of their relationship. The small price he wanted for these 64 letters written between 1989 and 1991 was reportedly 4 million pounds. He felt the letters were worth such an amount, calling the letters an “historic document.”
One can’t help but wonder what history relevance could be found in personal love letters? The only historical significance that those letters would have in this world would be if indeed James was the father of Prince Harry. Otherwise they are nothing but just that, love letters between two people. James disagrees and he told Larry King,
“I’m not being hypocritical about this, I’m being honest. I think it’s important to understand that they are or will become important historical documents. There’s nothing to be ashamed about in the letters.”
The Royal Family felt otherwise. Sarah Duchess of York told the BBC it was nothing short of betrayal.
“Betrayal I think is the most horrible, horrible disloyal thing you can do to anyone.”
If that is how the Royal Family felt about those letters and James Hewitt then, one can only imagine how they must be feeling now. The Telegraph has reported Dec. 28 that this ugly rumour is rearing its head again in a new play called “Truth, Lies, Diana” by West End Productions. The play, being touted as “controversial” appears to have as its soul purpose to add fuel to the long dead rumour that Prince Charles is not the father to Prince Harry.
The writer to the play, a man named Jon Conway, is alleging that James has changed his tune on when he and Princess Diana began their relationship. Previously he had claimed it began after Prince Harry was toddling. Jon Conway claims it began precisely 18 months before Prince Harry was even born. The Telegraph reports of an “explosive” scene where James tells a journalist,
“Diana and I started our relationship more than a year before Harry was born. Now that doesn’t probe that I am his father. It’s just the inconvenient truth.”
In another scene, the character of James Hewitt is asked if he knows who the father to Prince Harry is, and he says, “Of course I do.” The play has already seen success in New York City and will opening in London at Charing Cross Theatre for a run from January 9 to the middle of February.
The Telegraph reported this week that playwright Jon Conway says he spent over two years interviewing Hewitt and was able to elicit “remarkable admissions.” He says,
“There is a startling revelation that James Hewitt makes and he has allowed me to make it in the play. This is the fact that his relationship with Diana started 18 months before Prince Harry was born.”
These would be startling revelations, if they were true. One can’t help but wonder why James Hewitt, who has a history of trying to sell a story for a quick buck, has suddenly changed his tune for playwright Jon Conway. The play is reputed to follow the path of an investigator who is trying to uncover the truth about the 1997 car crash that ultimately killed Princess Diana. Conway based his script on books written by journalist John Morgan, and interviews with Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell in addition to his interviews with Hewitt.
James Hewitt of course doesn’t mind taking credit for the interviews. He has even said he believes that the script is accurate. However he also has admitted to the Telegraph that he hasn’t even read the script, so one can’t help but wonder where he is finding this “accuracy.”
How is the Royal Family handling all of this? Behind closed doors they are likely outraged. In the public eye however, Prince Harry is handling it in true Prince Harry style, with an affable laugh. The last time he was asked about the matter was in 2012 when he and Prince William attended a football match at Bacon’s College in London. A young child called across the field, “Are you two brothers?” Prince Harry responded, “We’re not sure.”
Handling such rumours is just part of the Royal lifestyle, and of all members of the Royal family, Prince Harry appears to be the best sport about them all. These rumours to many Royal watchers have long been chalked up as conspiracy theories that make many angry. As we see, Prince Harry makes jokes about it in his standard “never let them see you sweat” kind of way.
If anything, Prince Harry is likely just happy to be talking about something other than his own romantic affairs. Prince Harry is of course one of the world’s most eligible bachelors, and it seems he is enjoying this status. His most recent relationship was his two-year-long relationship with dancer Cressida Bonas, and it was a relationship that many thought would be headed to the altar.
Since their breakup earlier this year however, those wedding plans for Prince Harry have crashed. He has since been enjoying his single status as he attends to Royal family duties, and has yet to be seen with another lady long enough to get the engagement rumours swirling again. Even so, bookies are beginning to place odds on the chances that Prince Harry will be engaged by the end of 2015.
According to Kerala World News yesterday, bookies are giving Prince Harry 2-1 odds that he will be engaged by the end of 2015. The same bookies also reckon that the David and Victoria Beckham will announce their fifth child and that David Beckham has 5-1 odds of being granted a knighthood in 2015. According to these bookies then, Prince Harry apparently has better odds of marrying than of that ever happening, but stranger things have happened.
Other palace sources say that Prince Harry isn’t settling down any time soon unless he can win Cressida’s heart back. Until then, we understand he has no designs on announcing anything of the engagement sort in the coming New Year. As far as paternity is concerned, listen to this video that is the audio clipping of a radio interview with former Buckingham Palace Press Secretary Dickie Arbiter and draw your own conclusions.
What do you think? What do you think of the claims of the Prince Harry paternity pickle? Would you go and see a play called “Truth, Lies, Diana”?