The Prince Harry And James Hewitt Rumor Explained

Prince Harry was born in 1984 and is the second son of King Charles and Princess Diana. As he has revealed in his 2023 memoir "Spare," Harry has had to contend with a lot of ups and downs, media stores, and flat-out tabloid-driven rumors in his life. Some of these stories have been shrugged off or navigated around, but others have persisted for decades.

One particularly tough rumor is that former British military officer James Hewitt is Harry's biological father, not King Charles. Diana and Hewitt had a years-long affair that spanned from 1986 to 1991, but there is no evidence that Harry is remotely related to Hewitt. In fact, by Hewitt's own words, Harry was already two-years-old when he and Diana met at a party in 1986 (via Town & Country).

Despite that, some have continued to believe the rumors no matter what. Here's an explanation about the rumor that James Hewitt is Prince Harry's biological father.

Jame Hewitt and Princess Diana had an affair

Princess Diana and James Hewitt were first introduced at a 1986 party thrown by one of Diana's friends and ladies-in-waiting, Hazel West. Royal author Ken Warfe, who was also Princess Diana's bodyguard, described the pair's first encounter in his book "Diana: Closely Guarded Secret," noting that they discussed Diana's fear of horses, as Hewitt is an accomplished equestrian and a riding instructor.

As reported by Town & Country, things between Diana and James heated up not too long after that first party. They soon began an affair that would ultimately persist for years, with the two often meeting at a home owned by Hewitt's mother so they could spend time together privately. The pair were together throughout the rest of the decade, but when Hewitt received military orders that took him abroad, he chose his career over Diana.

Hewitt moved to Saudi Arabia, and the pair still communicated, but as Wharfe puts it in his book, "Diana felt betrayed: he had chosen his career over her. At first, she did everything she could to prevent him from going, even threatening to speak to his commanding officer. When James refused to give up his career, Diana let the affair wane."

James Hewitt wrote a book about their affair in 1994

The general public didn't know much about Princess Diana and James Hewitt's affair until 1994, when Hewitt released a tell-all book that detailed their time together. Hewitt worked with writer Anna Pasternak to produce "Princess in Love," which covered the entirety of their relationship from 1986 to 1991. As noted by Town & Country, the book was released after Diana and King Charles had separated in 1992, but it still managed to cause a pretty nasty headache for the former couple and the royal family as a whole.

Diana only publicly addressed the book and Hewitt briefly during her 1995 BBC interview on "Panorama." Diana revealed that she was naturally disappointed in Hewitt's decision to tell so much about their time together. As she said, "Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down."

Hewitt didn't stop there. In 1999, two years after Princess Diana's tragic death, he released a follow-up titled "Love and War" that revisited the relationship in even more detail. Town & Country has also noted that some have accused Hewitt of trying to sell dozens of letters that Diana wrote him, allegedly requesting £10 million.

Rumors about Prince Harry's parentage started early

Despite the fact that Prince Harry was born two years before Princess Diana and James Hewitt began their relationship, rumors that Hewitt is Harry's biological father have persisted for much of Harry's life. For a lot of people who engage with the topic, it seems that the biggest reason they believe Harry and Hewitt are related is that they both have red hair.

Hewitt has always denied these claims, and Diana's former bodyguard Ken Wharfe has insisted that it's mathematically impossible for Harry and Hewitt to be related. As he writes in "Diana: Closely Guarded Secret," "A simple comparison of dates proves it is impossible for Hewitt to be Harry's father. ... 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."

Additionally, Diana's family tree has a number of red-haired relatives residing within it. As noted by the Independent, both Diana's brother Earl Spencer and her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale both have red hair, which indicates a clear genetic link to the hue.

Some people believe Prince Harry resembles James Hewitt

In addition to sharing red hair, others believe that Prince Harry and James Hewitt bear a strong physical resemblance to one another. According to The Daily Star, "super recogniser" Simone Malik has examined the faces of Hewitt, Harry, and King Charles and determined that there is no truth to the rumors that Hewitt is Harry's biological father.

Malik explains that she has abilities that the rest of us simply don't possess, noting, "I can see from the public's perspective when they look at the ginger hair and their smiles from the side, they have a certain look and they think he is Harry's dad. As a super-recogniser I can see beyond that." She goes on to add that Charles and Harry share a few key features, including eyes that are exceptionally close together.

In fact, Malik argues that Charles and Harry are the only two people that she has seen that share their exact eyes, and that both Diana and Hewitt have large eyes that are wider apart. In conclusion, the answer is easy for Malik. She says, "Where has Harry got those eyes from? Not Hewitt, not Diana, he has got them from his father.

James Hewitt denied the rumor for the first time in 2002

Despite being quite willing to divulge details about his relationship with Princess Diana before and after her death, James Hewitt did not directly address the rumors that continued to dog both him and Prince Harry until 2002. Hewitt attempted to put the rumors to rest in an interview with the Sunday Mirror.

He explained, "I can understand the interest but Harry was already walking by the time my relationship with Diana began. Admittedly the red hair is similar to mine and people say we look alike" (via The Daily Mail).

Hewitt added that though he and Diana were together for several years, it was time for him to unequivocally state that he is not Harry's father. Hewitt also added that he believes Harry is "a much more handsome chap than I ever was." As is typical, the interview did not receive a public response from anyone in the royal family or associated with Prince Harry.

Prince Harry claims King Charles makes jokes about the rumors

Unfortunately for everyone involved and most notably Prince Harry, the rumors that James Hewitt could be Harry's biological father didn't die down. In his 2023 memoir "Spare," Prince Harry writes about the rumors and also claims that King Charles himself has made a number of jokes about the possibility that Hewitt might be Harry's father.

As Harry puts it in the book, "Pa liked telling stories, and this was one of the best in his repertoire. He'd always end with a burst of philosophizing ... Who knows if I'm really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I'm even your real father?" Harry goes on to add that in his opinion, the jokes weren't very funny, especially as he was the one who ultimately had to deal with them (via Town & Country).

It's also clear that Harry has been hurt and frustrated by the rumors and their ability to persist. As he adds of the tabloids and media who have supported the rumors for decades, "Maybe it made them feel better about their lives that a young prince's life was laughable."