Prince Harry has said that tabloid speculation his real father was James Hewitt and not King Charles II was "hurtful, mean, and cruel" as he delivered a 55-page witness statement during his ongoing litigation against Mirror Group Newspapers.
According to the 38-year-old, he only discovered that his late mother, Princess Diana, had commenced a relationship with military man James, after he was born.
As a consequence of this, the Duke of Sussex said the rumours felt "very real" to him.
Highlighting an article that was published in The People in 2002, that discussed a "plot to steal a sample of his DNA" to confirm his true father, Harry spoke candidly about his years of agonising over who his real father was.
"At the time, I was 18 years old and had lost my mother just six years earlier, stories such as this felt very damaging and very real to me."
Hewitt had an affair with Princess Diana during the 1980s which ended when he was called to serve in the Gulf War.
At the time of the interview, James looked back on their time together fondly, much of which was spent on his farm in Devon, England: “Well, I’d cook and she’d wash up. Just dinner and relaxing and laughing.”
Princess Diana passed away in a car crash in Paris in 1997. The interview on Sunday Night was to commemorate the 20-year mark since her death.