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Twenty-five years ago I wrote Princess In Love, about Princess Diana’s five-year affair with James Hewitt.
The question I am still asked is, ‘Do you regret writing it?’ I don’t regret writing the truth of a relationship that played a significant part in royal history – Hewitt was a crucial ballast for Princess Diana when she was at her most unstable – and I am proud today that everything I said in the book about Diana (and Charles’s early relationship with Camilla) was reiterated at the poignant 20-year anniversary of her tragic death.
But any vindication I feel is hollow, as it has taken me decades to rehabilitate myself.
Not being defined by writing Princess In Love, and recovering from the Press crucifixion, has been far more complex than my naïve 26-year-old self could have envisaged.
Regrets - Toll - Book - Family - Reputation
Actually, I now realise that I do have regrets. I regret the toll the book took on my family and my reputation, and I certainly regret any pain caused to the Royal Family, especially William and Harry. That was never my intention.
I met James Hewitt at a dinner party when I was a features writer on the Daily Express in the autumn of 1993.
Hewitt - Princess - Diana - Circle - Army
I was seated next to Hewitt, whom I knew was in Princess Diana’s inner circle and was in the Army. He was a charming, stripy-shirt-wearing Sloane Ranger. Fun and debonair.
Shortly afterwards, it was announced that the Tory MP David Faber was divorcing his weather girl wife, Sally. She was having an affair with Hewitt, whom David cited in the divorce proceedings.
Letter - Hewitt - Sally - TV - Studio
I biked round a letter to Hewitt, via Sally at her TV studio, requesting an interview. I didn’t expect to hear from him.
In a quirk of fate, the following morning I bumped into Hewitt in South Kensington. I...
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