So, now we know. James Hewitt is absolutely not the father of Princess Diana’s son, Harry. He told us. And she would definitely not have married Dodi Fayed. Her butler Paul Burrell said so.
But did she foresee her own death in the “never been seen before letter” that Mr Burrell revealed to Channel 7’s Sunday Night program? Probably not – but let’s explore it anyway.
“I do have a lot of letters. I’ve never shown them before and I’m deeply reluctant to show them now,” he told correspondent Melissa Doyle from his home in northern England.
“This particular letter is rather poignant. It’s rather spooky to think that she sat and prophesised (sic) her own death.”
Part of the letter he received in the months before Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris 20 years ago read:
“This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. My husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry Camilla.”
Watch the exchange below:
When asked if these thoughts were her own or something she had taken from seeing clairvoyants, Burrell explained.
“Some of these thoughts did come from mystics but you can’t get away from the fact that she wrote it. She took time to sit down and actually write down her fears.”
Because it’s the 20th anniversary of her death, Burrell – and probably the four other people featured on the show, each of whom had made something of a name for themselves through their association with Diana – is keen that new generations know who she was.
And, so, Sunday Night tracked through the whole, sad saga of her royal life, apparently to keep her legend alive.
Heavily promoted was the interview with James Hewitt – who had an affair with Diana while she was married to Prince Charles.
It was filmed at his Devon farm where he and Diana had spent time with “frivolity, walks in the country and on the beach”.
“I’d cook and she’d wash up,” he said.
Ken Wharfe – Diana’s former bodyguard – recalled protecting her secret rendezvous.
“I wasn’t embarrassed. I didn’t see a problem with it. It was pretty obvious what was happening. I wasn’t there to moralise.”
The rumour that simply won’t die is the one where Hewitt fathered Prince Harry.
“Are you Harry’s father?” Doyle asked Hewitt, who now lives the life of a recluse in south-west England.
“No, I’m not,” he replied.
“Why does that keep being repeated?”
“Sell’s papers,” he theorises.
“That’s heartbreaking for you. For him,” empathises Doyle.
“Worse for him, probably. Poor chap.”
Not satisfied with that, Doyle quizzes Burrell further.
“So many people say to me ‘do you think that Harry was James Hewitt’s child?’,” he replies.
“No, not possible. Because that affair didn’t start until Harry was born.”
And that exchange sums up the program, really. A rather tawdry effort to get eyeballs to Sunday Night and which offered nothing new and asked questions that should have been buried with Diana 20 years ago.