Princess Diana, who famously became known as the People’s Princess, married Prince Charles in 1981, despite him still being romantically involved with his now-wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall. Their turbulent relationship is shown in the latest season of The Crown with a few glimmers of hope dotted around the Netflix series. However, as Prince Charles continued to see Camilla, Princess Diana turned her attention elsewhere.
Who did Princess Diana have an affair with?
Princess Diana first met Major James Hewitt in 1986 at a party thrown by her lady-in-waiting Hazel West.
During this time, Hewitt was in the British Army but failed his major’s exams on several occasions and so when he retired in 1994 after 17 years of service, he was made a captain.
Hewitt was then later given the rank of major while he was in retirement.
In his book Love and War which was published in 1999, Hewitt said Princess Diana had asked for riding lessons.
He stated: “Only one thing went wrong. We fell in love.”
Princess Diana: Who did the Princess of Wales have an affair with?
Princess Diana: The Princess of Wales with Major James Hewitt.
Describing the beginnings of their affair, author of Princess in Love, Anna Pasternak, wrote: “Hewitt was regularly bundled into car boots and driven to Kensington Palace when their affair ensued.
“He told me he was terrified the first night he stayed in Kensington Palace, relieved at least that Charles and Diana had separate bedrooms.
“Apparently, she had 30 childhood cuddly toys lining the end of her bed.”
Diana and Hewitt wrote love letters to one another throughout their relationship but it wasn’t a very well kept secret from those around them.
Princess Diana: She had an affair with Major James Hewitt in the late 1980s.
Princess Diana: James Hewitt is briefly depicted in season 4 of The Crown.
Diana’s former protection officer Ken Wharfe described in his book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret: “Hewitt, a natural womanizer, gave her the attention and affection she relished, and then the passion she yearned for.
“At first, Diana refused to concede to me that her affair was anything less than innocent.
“‘Nothing is going on,’ she would say, her face flushing red, as we drove back from a tryst, usually with the atmosphere tense in the car.”
Pasternak also said how Prince Charles reportedly knew of her affair with Hewitt but was welcomed as it was “taking pressure off him and Camilla”.
Diana and Hewitt’s affair ended temporarily in 1989 when he was posted in Germany but then they rekindled their romance the following year.
However, Diana ended the relationship in 1992 when she “stopped taking Hewitt’s telephone calls”, according to the BBC.
In The Crown, the drama made it seem like Diana wanted to once again focus on her relationship with Prince Charles.
But in real life, the reason may have been because she had felt betrayed by Hewitt.
In 1995, Diana did an interview with Martin Bashir for BBC’s Panorama where she addressed her romance with Hewitt.
She candidly said: “Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down.”
This seems to refer to the fact Hewitt was benefiting financially from their affair.
The BBC previously noted: “As well as a reported £300,000 fee for the book [Princess in Love], a subsequent interview in the News of the World is said to have brought him £1 million.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK