Prince Harry Addresses Rumor James Hewitt Is His Father
Prince Harry weighed in on the rumor that he’s the child of Princess Diana and Major James Hewitt, and revealed King Charles III’s recurring joke about his paternity.
Prince Harry is acutely aware of the rumors about his “real father.”
For decades, there’s been speculation that Princess Diana’s former lover James Hewitt is the 38-year-old’s true father (despite the fact that Harry was born in 1984 and the couple’s romance reportedly started in 1987.)
And allegedly, none other than King Charles III would laugh off the paternity claims, according to Harry’s new memoir, Spare.
“Pa liked telling stories, and this was one of the best in his repertoire,” Harry wrote in the book, per NBC News. He said Charles used to joke, “‘Who knows if I’m really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I’m even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!'”
Recalling how Charles would “laugh and laugh,” Harry went on to say it was “a remarkably unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then that my actual father was one of Mummy’s former lovers: Major James Hewitt.”
“One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt’s flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism,” Harry shared. “Tabloid readers were delighted by the idea that the younger child of Prince Charles wasn’t the child of Prince Charles. They couldn’t get enough of this ‘joke,’ for some reason. Maybe it made them feel better about their lives that a young prince’s life was laughable.”
However, Harry set the record straight by noting in his memoir, “Never mind that my mother didn’t meet Major Hewitt until long after I was born, the story was simply too good to drop.”
James Hewitt, now 64, has also denied the claims, suggesting in 2017 that the rumor only continues to circulate because it “sells papers.” He added, “It’s worse for him probably, poor chap.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the book’s allegations when contacted by NBC News. (E! is a member of the NBCUniversal family.)
Read on for more bombshells from Prince Harry’s book, out Jan. 10.
How Charles Broke the News About Princess Diana’s Death
Prince Harry describes the moment his father told him that Princess Diana had been in a fatal car crash, writing that King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, had a difficult time finding the right words.
“Mummy was quite badly injured and taken to a hospital, darling boy,” Harry recalls his dad saying. “He always called me ‘darling boy,’ but he was saying it quite a lot now. His voice was soft. He was in shock, it seemed.”
When Charles ultimately said, “I’m afraid she didn’t make it,” for Harry, “everything seemed to come to a stop.”
He continues: “What I do remember with startling clarity is that I didn’t cry. Not one tear.”
Moreover, “Pa didn’t hug me. He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis? But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said: It’s going to be OK. That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue.”
Harry Regrets the Last Conversation He Had With His Mother
Harry last spoke to his mother hours before the car crash that took her life on Aug. 31, 1997—but he regretfully remembers being too preoccupied to really sit down and talk.
When she called earlier that night, “I was running around with Willy and my cousins and didn’t want to stop playing,” he writes. “So I’d been short with her. Impatient to get back to my games, I’d rushed Mummy of the phone. I wished I’d apologized for it. I wished I’d searched for the words to describe how much I loved her. I didn’t know that search would take decades.”
The Long Walk at Diana’s Funeral
Amid differing opinions over whether Harry, still days away from his 13th birthday, and William, 15, should have to walk behind their mother’s coffin in the funeral procession to Westminster Abbey, Harry recalls that another option was considered.
“Willy would walk alone. He was fifteen, after all,” Harry writes. “Leave the younger one out of it. Spare the Spare. This alternative plan was sent up the chain. Back came the answer. It must be both princes. To garner sympathy, presumably. Uncle Charles [Spencer, Diana’s brother] was furious. But I wasn’t. I didn’t want Willy to undergo an ordeal like that without me. Had the roles been reversed, he’d never have wanted me—indeed, allowed me—to go it alone.”
And so both brothers made the 20-minute walk, with their father, grandfather Prince Philip and their uncle.
“I remember feeling numb,” Harry writes. “I remember clenching my fists. I remember keeping a fraction of Willy always in the corner of my vision and drawing loads of strength from that. Most of all I remember the sounds, the clinking bridles and clopping hooves of the six sweaty brown horses, the squeaking wheels of the gun carriage they were hauling. (A relic from the First World War, someone said, which seemed right, since Mummy, much as she loved peace, often seemed a soldier, whether she was warring against the paps or Pa.) I believe I’ll remember those few sounds for the rest of my life, because they were such a sharp contrast to the otherwise all-encompassing silence.”
Harry Cried When Diana Was Buried—but He Still Didn’t Believe She Was Dead
Even watching Diana’s coffin being buried on the grounds of the Spencer family’s Althorp estate couldn’t quite convince Harry that his mum was dead.
He remembers “as the flag came off and the coffin descended to the bottom of the hole, that finally broke me. My body convulsed and my chin fell and I began to sob uncontrollably into my hands. I felt ashamed of violating the family ethos, but I couldn’t hold it in any longer.”
“It’s OK, I reassured myself, it’s OK,” Harry continues. “There aren’t any cameras around. Besides, I wasn’t crying because I believed my mother was in that hole. Or in that coffin. I promised myself l’d never believe that, no matter what anyone said. No, I was crying at the mere idea. It would just be so unbearably tragic, I thought, if it was actually true.”
He admitted to Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes that he spent years telling himself that Diana had faked her own death.
“I just refused to accept that she was gone,” Harry said in the Jan. 8 interview. “Part of [it was] she would never do this to us. But also, part of it maybe [felt like] this is all part of a plan. For a time [I believed she was alive] and then she would call us, and we would go and join her.”
Charles’ Strange Sense of Humor
Apparently Harry’s parentage was the butt of an ongoing family joke—and no one was immune from the unfounded speculation that Diana’s onetime lover James Hewitt was Harry’s real father.
“Pa liked telling stories, and this was one of the best in his repertoire,” Harry writes, alleging his father would make jokes like, “‘Who knows if I’m really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I’m even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!'”
“He’d laugh and laugh,” Harry continues, “though it was a remarkably unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then that my actual father was one of Mummy’s former lovers: Major James Hewitt. One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt’s flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism. Tabloid readers were delighted by the idea that the younger child of Prince Charles wasn’t the child of Prince Charles. They couldn’t get enough of this ‘joke,’ for some reason. Maybe it made them feel better about their lives that a young prince’s life was laughable. Never mind that my mother didn’t meet Major Hewitt until long after I was born, the story was simply too good to drop.”
Harry was born in 1984 and Diana’s romance with Hewitt is said to have begun in 1987.
In her own bombshell sit-down with the BBC’s Panorama in 1995, Diana said of the former cavalry officer, “I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But,” when he collaborated on a tell-all book about their affair, Anna Pasternak’s Princess in Love, “I was very let down.”
William Tried to Talk About Diana but Harry Couldn’t
Four years after Diana died, “I still hadn’t mourned, still hadn’t cried, except that one time at her grave, still hadn’t processed the bare facts,” Harry writes.
When he and William were still in school, they’d sneak into a local pub for a few pints with friends, then invite the lot back to their dad’s house, Highgrove, and hang out in the basement they dubbed Club H. They were “often tipsy, and sometimes smashed,” Harry notes, “and yet there wasn’t a single time that anyone used or brought drugs down there.” There were bodyguards watching, yes, but they also had “a sense of boundaries.”
During those nights at Club H, William would sometimes try to talk to Harry about their mother, but Harry always changed the subject.
“He’d get frustrated,” Harry writes. “And I wouldn’t acknowledge his frustration. More likely, I couldn’t even recognize it. Being so obtuse, so emotionally unavailable, wasn’t a choice I made. I simply wasn’t capable. I wasn’t close to ready.”
Harry Took Some Drugs
Tabloid characterizations of Harry as a big partier weren’t exactly incorrect, he admits in Spare. Though he found a “Harry’s Drugs Shame” headline—and a story using a photo of him visiting a rehab center as part of public service implying he was going to rehab—pretty rich.
Harry writes that he chalked it all up to royal spin at work, that his father’s office agreed to let the papers run with the drug reports to make scandal-tarred Charles look like a concerned parent: “No more the unfaithful husband, Pa would now be presented to the world as the harried single dad coping with a drug-addled child.”
“Of course…I had been doing cocaine around this time,” he writes. “At someone’s country house, during a shooting weekend, I’d been offered a line, and I’d done a few more since.”
But, he continues, “It wasn’t much fun, and it didn’t make me particularly happy, as it seemed to make everyone around me, but it did make me feel different, and that was the main goal.”
“I was a deeply unhappy seventeen-year-old boy willing to try almost anything that would alter the status quo,” he writes. “That was what I told myself anyway.”
He also started smoking pot with his friends at Eton and experimented with psychedelic drugs—which he found therapeutic once he got older.
“They didn’t simply allow me to escape reality for a while, they let me redefine reality,” he said of hallucinogens. Referencing his go-to term for the anger he felt, he added, “Under the influence of these substances I was able to let go of rigid preconcepts, to see that there was another world beyond my heavily filtered senses, a world that was equally real and doubly beautiful—a world with no red mist, no reason for red mist. There was only truth.”
Harry’s First Time
Harry put his virginity out to pasture during an “inglorious episode” with an unnamed older woman.
“She liked horses, quite a lot, and treated me not unlike a young stallion,” Harry writes of his first time having sex. “Quick ride, after which she’d smacked my rump and sent me to grace. Among the many things about it that were wrong: It happened in a grassy field behind a busy pub.”
Harry’s Shameful Nazi Costume
Harry has said that wearing a Nazi uniform to a “Native and Colonial”-themed costume party when he was 20 was one of the biggest mistakes of his life.
He writes in Spare that, before the January 2005 party, he asked William and Kate Middleton (who were just dating at the time) what he should go as—a pilot or that. And the couple picked that, Harry alleges, and they “howled” with laughter when he tried the offensive outfit on for them.
When he found out he was going to make the papers, “I turned to Willy,” Harry recalls. “He was sympathetic, but there wasn’t much to say. Then I phoned Pa. To my surprise he was serene. At first I was suspicious. I thought maybe he was seeing my crisis as another opportunity to bolster his PR. But he spoke to me with such tenderness, such genuine compassion, that I was disarmed. And grateful. He didn’t gloss over the facts. Darling boy, how could you be so foolish? My cheeks burned. I know, I know. But he quickly went on to say that it was the foolishness of youth, that he remembered being publicly vilified for youthful sins, and it wasn’t fair, because youth is the time when you’re, by definition, unfinished.”
“I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone,” Harry said in a statement released by Clarence House after the shameful incident landed the prince on the front page of The Sun (Headline: “Harry the Nazi”). “It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize.”
The Golden Globes are back!
After taking a year off amid controversy surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of diversity, the annual award show telecast returned to TV Jan. 10.
Eddie Murphy received the 2023 Cecil B. DeMille Award for “an entertainment career that spans five decades,” the HFPA announced in December, while Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy was recognized with the Carol Burnett Award for “his body of work and the lasting impact of his television career.”
Some of the night’s most-nominated TV series included Abbot Elementary, The White Lotus, DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Severance, Only Murders in the Building, Pam & Tommy, The Bear and Hacks, while film stars like Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Brendan Fraser, Austin Butler, Michelle Williams, Brad Pitt, Michelle Yeoh and Angela Bassett were all up for top awards.
The star-studded ceremony was hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael.
And Then There Was One: Here’s What Went Wrong in All of the Sister Wives Marriages
Kody Brown now has just one wife, Robyn, following the end of his relationships with Meri, Janelle and Christine. Read on to find out what caused the end of the three Sister Wives marriages.
More than a decade after polygamist Kody Brown first landed on TV screens declaring he felt love should be “multiplied, not divided,” the Sister Wives star is dealing with some subtractions.
When the reality series premiered on TLC in September 2010, viewers were introduced to Kody, a former firearms salesman his three wives—Meri, Janelle and Christine—and the soon-to-be-fourth spouse he was courting. After 16 years of life as a quartet, each of the three women struggled with the transition as the family uprooted themselves from their joint home in Utah amid fears of being prosecuted for bigamy to a shared cul-de-sac in Las Vegas and, eventually, their current landing spot in Flagstaff, Ariz., where they dreamed of building on a piece of land dubbed Coyote Pass.
Now, 13 years, 17 seasons, 18 children and one catfishing scandal later, Robyn is the only wife still looking to build a future with the curly-haired patriarch. Since November 2021, Meri, Janelle and Christine have all ended their romances with the 53-year-old, with fans getting a front-row seat to all of the drama on their longrunning reality series.