Prince Harry Addresses Rumor Prince Charles Is Not His Father

Nothing is off limits in Prince Harry's new memoir, including the long-standing rumor that he is not really King Charles III's son. For decades, some have speculated that Prince Harry was actually conceived during a secret affair between Princess Diana and James Hewitt. In his new book Spare, Prince Harry addresses this story head-on.

"Pa liked telling stories, and this was one of the best in his repertoire," Prince Harry wrote, according to an excerpt reviewed by NBC News. "'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!'" Prince Harry wrote that his father didn't relate these "unfunny" jokes to the rumors about Hewitt but still remembers them being poorly received. He said they seemed especially strange "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," the prince wrote. "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."

For the first time, Prince Harry was able to shut these rumors down with simple facts. He wrote: "Never mind that my mother didn't meet Major Hewitt until long after I was born, the story was simply too good to drop." Still, it was clear that all the speculation stung him, and that his family's response did not help the situation at all.

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So far, Buckingham Palace has declined to officially comment on this or any of the other anecdotes in Prince Harry's book when contacted by numerous news outlets. The book hit shelves everywhere on Tuesday, Jan. 10, so readers can now get the full details for themselves. It gives Prince Harry's insights into his family from his earliest memories, with a notable focus on his mother's death and the aftermath. It then continues through the modern era, including his marriage to Meghan Markle and their departure from full-time royal life. Spare is available now in print, digital and audiobook formats.