Princess Diana's former lover James Hewitt denies being Prince Harry's father

Francesca Gillett
James Hewitt, the former lover of Diana, Princess of Wales: Andy Butterton/PA

Princess Diana’s former lover James Hewitt has denied long-standing rumours he could have been Prince Harry’s real father.

Speaking out about the affair, the former cavalry officer said speculation had continued because “it sells papers”.

It was in an interview with BBC Panorama in 1995 that Diana confessed she and Mr Hewitt had had an affair.

The Princess of Wales had separated with Prince Charles in 1992 and divorced four years later.

Princess Diana in 1996. (PA Wire/PA Images)

In an interview with Channel Seven's Sunday Night in Australia, the former Life Guards officer was asked: "Are you Harry's father?"

He replied: "No, I'm not."

The host asked him: "Why does that keep being repeated?" and Mr Hewitt replied: "It sells papers".

Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day at Buckingham Palace. (PA)

Hewitt has previously described the couple's five-year relationship as "exciting and sexy".

In a magazine interview he said: "The situation that Princess Diana and I were in made it exciting and sexy because it was risky.

"The danger spiced it up a bit, if you know what I mean."

He published a book in 1999 about their romantic liaison, and was criticised for saying he would sell love letters Diana wrote to him - more than 60 penned between 1989 and 1991 - during their affair.

Reporting by Press Association.