As the world reels over the death of Prince Phillip and Oprah Winfrey’s bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the royal family is under more scrutiny than ever. And if, like me, seeing Prince Harry’s warm smile plastered all over TV — and his unmistakable crop of red hair — got you wondering why he looks nothing like the rest of the House of Windsor then get ready for this totally believable love child–conspiracy theory: Harry’s real father could be James Hewitt, Princess Diana’s (handsome) riding instructor. The two had a confirmed affair throughout the early ’90s… and the resemblance between James and Harry is uncanny.
First of all, just look at Prince Harry: that coloring, that easygoing charm. The reformed party boy was always the roguish royal and as he’s grown older, differences between him and golden child Prince William are even more apparent. (I don’t even remember what Will looks like with hair.) And now, the apparent feud between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle only confirms that distance. But what if the brothers were, in fact, only half-siblings? It doesn’t take a detective to see that Harry does not resemble Prince Charles in the slightest.
“Whatever ‘in love’ means”
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, was born on September 15, 1984. At the time his brother was two years old. Their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, had been married to Charles, Prince of Wales, for three years. During that time, Diana was the subject of intense press coverage. And while she was extraordinarily popular — celebrated for her style and grace — she also suffered privately from mental health issues and extreme stress. It was not long before her royal marriage was crumbling.
Diana was just 20 years old when she married Charles — who was 12 years her senior. Both parties engaged in extramarital affairs. Charles, famously rekindled a romance with his married ex, Camilla Parker Bowles, while still married to Diana. And while this affair dominated the news — who could forget that awfully cringey tampon audio — Diana also had a lover: cavalry officer James Hewitt.
Princess Diana and James Hewitt
James Hewitt’s confirmed affair with Princess Diana began in 1986 when he was in the Household Cavalry and instructed to give the princess riding lessons. They carried on for years, often sneaking Hewitt into Kensington Palace or spending time at Hewitt’s mother’s cottage.
Anna Pasternak’s book Princess in Love, published in 1994, became the predominant source of information on the matter. Pasternak — with on-the-record testimony from Hewitt — alleges that the affair went on for five years. Pasternak shared with Daily Mail that Princess Diana once wrote to Hewitt:
“I have lain awake at night loving you desperately and thanking God for bringing you into my life—my darling one, you are the most magical and special person I’ve ever met, and how extraordinarily lucky I am to have been loved by you.”
The relationship was also acknowledged by Diana in her historic Panorama interview with Martin Bashir.
“There were three of us in this marriage…”
An Ongoing Controversy
James Hewitt has continuously denied that he is Prince Harry’s father, insisting that he and Princess Diana’s affair began two years after Harry’s birth; Diana’s bodyguard Ken Wharfe corroborates this. And as for the shared trait of red hair, Diana recognized this as Spencer characteristic, even calling Harry “Little Spencer”
But regardless of those claims, speculation continues as to who is Harry’s biological father. And with the Prince now formally distancing himself from Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, and the rest of the Windsor gang, questioning Harry’s parentage is a seriously enticing idea. After all, how could Harry’s real dad have truly made his son, his bride, and little Archie feel so unwelcome within their own family?
Charles and Diana Fight on ‘The Crown’