Princess Diana’s former lover has put a longstanding rumour to rest regarding Prince Harry.

James Hewitt was romantically involved with Princess Diana for five years after he was hired to provide horse-riding lessons — a full decade before Diana divorced Prince Charles and two years after Harry was born.

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Rumours have spread for decades questioning who Harry’s biological father is and those rumours have persisted despite Hewitt’s flat-out denial. Hewitt, a former army officer, shut down the chatter during an interview with Australian TV show “Sunday Night”. “No, I’m not, ” he stated bluntly.

Television host Melissa Doyle suggested the gossip has lasted over the decades because “it sells papers,” a notion which Hewitt did not deny. The ex-lover showed sympathy for Harry, 32. “It’s worse for him probably,” he said, in light of the rumours. “Poor chap.”

Hewitt also reminisced fondly on his secret five-year-long romance with Diana, a relationship he described as quite ordinary. “It’s a gradual period and then, you know, suddenly you can’t get enough of each other or see each other as much as you want… I’d cook and she’d wash up. Just dinner and relaxing and laughing.”

This is not the first time Hewitt has publicly denied being Harry’s biological dad. He released a statement in 2002, which read, “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.”

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“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.”

Diana and Hewitt ended their secret relationship in 1991 after the latter was called to serve in the Gulf War.

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