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This is Prince Harry, a.k.a. Henry Charles Albert David, fifth in line to the British royal throne, and youngest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana:
But due to the fact that people love themselves a conspiracy theory, Harry's paternity has been called into question over the years by people who believe that his real father is Princess Diana's riding instructor, a man named James Hewitt, a.k.a. this handsome gent:
Conspiracy theorists often point to the fact that both Harry and Hewitt have red hair, and also the fact that they look basically the exact same. So let's unpack this thing, shall we?
It's a fact that in 1986, just two years after Prince Harry was born, Princess Diana started an affair with Hewitt the Horse Whisperer — which went on for five years. Princess Diana herself admitted that she and Hewitt had an affair during a BBC Panorama program in 1995.
Meanwhile, Hewitt mused in an interview, "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. [...] It's very difficult to say how physical she wanted the 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."
If you're in need of more proof, meet Diana's former body guard Ken Wharfe — who wrote in his book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret that "The pair usually met at an old cottage in Devon belonging to Shirley, Hewitt’s mother, where the creaking bedroom floorboards told the story more loudly than any confession."
For what it's worth, Hewitt and Diana seemed very much in love, and the man himself says that they dreamed of being able to spend the rest of their lives together before breaking up after news of the affair worked its way into the media. "Although neither of us said anything I think both of us realized the situation was impossible," Hewitt explained. "It was more and more obvious to me that she wanted to finish the relationship... it just fizzled out."
THE PHOTO EVIDENCE
Please prepare your eyeballs because everything you thought you knew about Prince Harry's parentage is about to be called into question.
Exhibit A: Here is Hewitt playing polo at age 33 in 1991 (the exact same age that Harry is today) and Harry playing the game last year.
Exhibit B: By comparison, here's Prince Charles playing Polo, also in his thirties:
Exhibit C: This is Prince Harry and Hewitt side-by-side sporting very similar facial features:
Exhibit D: And this is Prince Harry side-by-side with Prince Charles:
While the royal family generally lives by the motto "never complain, never explain," there have been concerted efforts to shut down rumors about Harry's parentage over the years.
1. In 2002, Hewitt told the Sunday Mirror, "There really is no possibility whatsoever that I am Harry's father. I can absolutely assure you that I am not. 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."
2. In 2002, Diana's bodyguard Ken Wharfe wrote in his book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, "The malicious rumors 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."
3. In 2017, Hewitt went on an Australian TV show and shot down the rumors yet again, saying, "It's worse for [Harry than it is for me], probably, poor chap."
4. In 2017, Diana's butler Paul Burrell said, "I never heard any of the Royal Family discussing James Hewitt being Harry’s dad because we knew the truth. It’s something that’s been made up. It was just because Harry had red hair, but all the Spencers have red hair."
Okay, so no, Prince Harry is almost certainly not Hewitt's son — despite the striking physical resemblance. Please note that Royal biographer Penny Junor claimed that back in 2003 the News of The World tested Prince Harry's hair (take this with a huge grain of salt) and the test was negative. "The News of the World even had strands of Harry’s hair DNA-tested in February 2003," Juror wrote. "And if Harry had been shown to be James Hewitt’s son, you can be sure we’d have known."
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