King Charles, Prince Harry's father
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
July 2, 2024 ·  5 min read

Why People Think King Charles Isn’t Harry’s Real Dad

Prince Henry Charles Albert David, more commonly known as just Prince Harry, is King Charles and Princess Diana’s youngest son. However, many people have theorized about Harry’s paternity because of Princess Diana’s affair with her horse riding instructor, James Hewitt. In January 2020, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, were emancipated from the royal family, partially due to the intense media scrutiny and pressure. But as old footage of an interview with Hewitt makes new rounds, the debate over Prince Harry’s real father resurface.

Who is James Hewitt?

James Hewitt is a retired British Army captain who had co-written two books about his relationship with Diana. He became a controversial figure when he tried to sell love letters between himself and Diana after her death. They had first met at a party hosted by Hazel West, Diana’s lady-in-waiting. Ken Wharfe, Diana’s former bodyguard, wrote about this incident in his book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret. He claims that the two had an instant connection. Hewitt said he was a riding instructor and she spoke about her fear of horseback riding. He offered to help her overcome it and the affair commenced sometime after. [1]

Ever since Princess Diana’s affair with James Hewitt became public news, people speculated if Hewitt could have sired Prince Harry, especially since the two bear a strong resemblance. The affair reportedly began in 1986, two years after Harry’s birth, and lasted for allegedly five years. In 1995, Princess Diana admitted the affair during a BBC Panorama program. [2]

In a different interview, Hewitt stated, “It was never her intention to fall in love with me, and it was certainly not my intention to fall in love with Diana, but it happened because of the circumstances throwing us together.” He then added, “It’s very difficult to say how physical she wanted our relationship to become. And I’m not going to suggest one way or the other whose fault it was, it developed, and it was mutual.” 

He also claims that they had fantasized about their life together until the affair became public and their relationship ended. “Although neither of us said anything, I think both of us realized the situation was impossible. It was more and more obvious to me that she wanted to finish the relationship… It just fizzled out.”

Read: Have You Ever Noticed This One Strange Detail in Pictures of Princess Diana and King Charles?

Selling Memoirs and Love Letters

Hewitt published his first book about their affair, Princess In Love, in 1994, very shortly after King Charles publicly admitted his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Inside sources report that Diana was hurt by the exposing nature of the book. After she died in 1997, Hewitt published Love and War, a detailed memoir of their relationship in 1999. He also tried to sell his love letters from Diana in 2002, with the asking price of $16 million. Parts of these letters became published in a tabloid when a reporter posed as a potential buyer to hear Hewitt read some excerpts. However, Hewitt denied trying to sell them in an interview in 2002. 

I wasn’t willing to sell the letters,” he said. “I was approached and was offered a substantial sum. I was intrigued to see if it was possible to achieve this. So in the end, I suppose, yes, I am willing to sell.” He further explained that he didn’t think the letters’ content was too personal or shameful. “I think they’re historical documents written by her to me as I served in the Gulf War, and they will become more and more of an important historical part of what went on.” In 2003, Hewitt said to Larry King that he could do “a lot of good” from the profits made from selling the documents. However, he had no buyers then or in 2015 when he tried to make the offer again. [3]

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“I’m not Prince Harry’s father”

Despite the resemblance between Hewitt and Prince Harry, Hewitt himself rebutted the rumors. In 2002, he said in an interview with Sunday Mirror, “There really is no possibility whatsoever that I am Harry’s father. I can absolutely assure you that I am not. I can understand the interest but Harry was already walking by the time my relationship with Diana began.”

He further explained, “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’m not Harry’s father. When I met Diana, he was already a toddler.”

Dai Davies, who was the Commander in Charge of Royal Protection in 1995, also refuted the theory. “James is definitely not Harry’s father. Diana and Hewitt had not even met when Harry was conceived. Charles is his father.” He also explained that Prince Harry dislikes the rumors surrounding his paternity. “Harry was furious when it was suggested he take a DNA test. His reaction was, ‘I know who my father is. I am my father’s son.’” [4]

Keep Reading: Harry Says Diana Was ‘Chased To Her Death While She Was In A Relationship With Someone That Wasn’t White’ And Feared ‘History Was Repeating Itself’ With Meghan


  1. “All About Princess Diana’s Former Love Interest James Hewitt.People. Jessica Sager. August 12, 2022
  2. “James Hewitt: is he Prince Harry’s real dad, when did Princess Diana meet him – and where is he now?Edinburgh News. Alex Nelson. March 8, 2021
  3. “The Truth Behind Those Rumors That James Hewitt Is Secretly Prince Harry’s Dad.” Good Housekeeping. Mehera Bonner. March 27, 2018
  4. “Prince Harry’s Paternity Was Once Questioned By The Royal Family; Is Charles Really His Dad?The Things. Kemberly Penton. September 19, 2022