Who Is Prince Harry's Real Father?

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Who Is Prince Harry's Real Father? Why Some Believe It's James Hewitt, Not Prince Charles

Could it be someone other than Prince Charles?

While Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, became America's favorite royal last summer, her husband remains a close second for many. From America's love affair with his late mother Princess Diana to his rakish good looks and American bride, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, KCVO, ADC is everything Americans want a member of the British Royal Family to be.

But ... what if the fifth in line to the British throne isn't royal at all?

For years there have been rumors that Harry isn't Prince Charles' biological son at all, based on claims his mother Diana had multiple affairs during her marriage to Charles.

So even though he shares the Prince of Wales' last name, having been christened Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor, could another, non-royal man be Harry's real dad?

And if so, who Is Prince Harry's real father?

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Read on to learn more about the scandal and mystery surrounding people's suspicions that James Hewitt is Prince Harry's biological father.

1. His parents were unhappily wed

Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a lavish ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981. While many assumed that it was a love match, in fact, Diana was selected because of her noble birth and because she was 19 years old with no history of boyfriends or scandals behind her.

She quickly found out that Charles was really in love with Camilla Parker Bowles and had been for many years. He famously carried on an affair with Bowles during his marriage to Diana. He eventually married her, though it was years after both his divorce from Diana and her tragic death.

2. His mother, 'the People's Princess'

During her marriage to Charles, Diana was active on a lot of charitable causes. She was part of the movement ot ban landmines, she supported ending homelessness in the UK, and she championed many children's charities.

Most famously, she was an early advocate for people with AIDS and HIV. Photographs of her making direct contact with HIV-positive people changed the perception that HIV was contagious via casual contact and helped combat the stigma and isolation that came with and HIV diagnosis.

Much of her work kept her traveling, often without Charles.

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3. Rumors of affairs

While Charles was carrying on with Camilla behind Diana's back, Diana is believed to have sought affection elsewhere.

She was rumored to be interested in one of her bodyguards as early as 1985, and he was dismissed shortly after the rumors began. Intimate conversations between Diana and a car salesman were leaked to the press in the early 90s, and she was linked to a billionaire and and art dealer before finally divorcing Charles in 1996.

4. Her most widely known romance

Perhaps Diana's most significant affair was with her riding instructor, James Hewitt.

She confessed to the liaison in 1995, and Hewitt has confirmed the story saying, "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."

The pair knew all along that there was no hope for a future together. Hewitt says, "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."

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5. Picture perfect

In later years, people have wondered if Hewitt was actually Harry's father. In addition to their mutual admission of a long affair, there is a distinct physical resemblance between the riding instructor and the young prince. They both have ginger-colored hair and a strong jawline, one that is distinctly unlike Charles' famously weak chin.

6. Timing

As tantalizing as the rumor about Hewitt and Harry is, it's likely impossible for it to be true. Hewitt denies it all, saying, "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."

How does he know for sure?

"When I met Diana," he says, "he was already a toddler."

Diana's former bodyguard Ken Wharfe also shoots down this rumor in his book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, saying, "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."

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7. The unceasing gossip

In an attempt to sell magazines in the lead up to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the National Enquirer published a baseless allegation that Harry's real father was a Welsh Guards Officer named Mark Dyer. The gossip rag offered no evidence beyond Dyer's red hair.

The Royal Family didn't bother responding to the allegation.

8. Charles

Despite both the rumors and true stories about his lonely mother's search for love outside her marriage, it is largely indisputable that Prince Charles is Harry's father.

And whatever may have happened in the past, the current relationship between Royal father and son now seems lovely.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook, and The Broad Side, as well as on her blog, Stay at Home Pundit.