Truth About Prince Harry’s Real Father: Yes, It’s Prince Charles

Truth rating: 10
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex waves at the audience as he walks on stage to give a speech and present an award at the inaugural OnSide Awards at the Royal Albert Hall

By Hugh Scott |

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex waves at the audience as he walks on stage to give a speech and present an award at the inaugural OnSide Awards at the Royal Albert Hall

(Getty Images)

Almost since the day Prince Harry was born, the tabloids have questioned who his real father is. This year alone, Gossip Cop has busted multiple false reports about the identity of the duke’s real dad. We’ll break it down and separate the rumors from the facts.

James Hewitt

The most common phony claim is that Prince Harry’s father is really James Hewitt. Hewitt infamously had an affair with Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, in the 1980s, around the time Prince Harry was born. Both Princess Diana and Hewitt admitted to the affair, but both maintain the affair happened after she had Prince Harry. In subsequent interviews, Hewitt has strongly rejected the claims he is the Duke of Sussex’s father.

Here’s the reason the thoroughly debunked rumor has persisted for so long: Hewitt and Prince Harry both have red hair and similar complexions. The conspiracy theory goes, if Prince Harry has red hair, there must be something up with his ancestry – and there is – but it’s not a trait passed down from Hewitt.

Princess Diana’s father, John Spencer, had red hair. Prince Harry’s uncle, Charles Spencer, also has red hair. Prince Harry’s aunt, Lady Spencer, also has red hair. Louis Spencer, Prince Harry’s cousin on his mother’s side, has – you guessed it – red hair. Indeed, red hair is a very common trait in the Spencer family and those genes are, of course, half of Prince Harry’s genes. It seems nothing is out of the ordinary, at all.

Mark Dyer

The second most-commonly debunked conspiracy about Prince Harry’s parentage is a Welsh Guards officer named Mark Dyer. Dyer has been a close friend to Prince Harry his whole life and attended his wedding to Meghan Markle last year. There is no evidence that Dyer had an affair with Princess Diana and again, the “evidence” that Dyer is Prince Harry’s father seems to be entirely based on his hair color – red.

That’s not all. Prince Harry’s paternal grandfather, Prince Philip, had a red beard in his younger days. Gossip Cop pointed this out in an article we busted last year about Dyer supposedly being Prince Harry’s “real dad.” Prince Philip has not grown a beard since the 1950s, so it’s not common knowledge that he has some red-hair genes as well. Vanity Fair published a photo of Duke of Edinburgh that showed just how much he resembled Prince Harry when he was younger. Prince Harry looks far more like Prince Philip than Mark Dyer.

The Tabloids Won’t Let Up

The phony reports continue to pop up in the tabloids, however. In February, the Globe ran a cover story purporting Dyer was the duke’s father. The article falsely alleged Prince Charles had disowned Prince Harry in a “DNA shocker.” In the bogus story, the outlet claimed the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex had a “furious fight” after it was “revealed the renegade redhead isn’t really a member of the royal family.” The result was Prince Charles kicking Prince Harry out of the family. The whole report was made up, as Gossip Cop noted at the time.

Most recently, in November, the Globe must have been short on news, because it recycled the same narrative. In that report, the unreliable outlet claimed Prince Charles told Prince Harry he wasn’t the duke’s dad. The lazy piece rehashed all the old rumors, adding absolutely nothing new, despite those rumors being repeatedly disproven. Gossip Cop stepped in again to correct the magazine’s poor reporting, but sadly, it’s almost a certainty the same premise will continue on in the tabloids. Gossip Cop will continue busting those stories when they appear.


"Prince Harry “Real Dad” Cover Story Is NOT True." Gossip Cop, 28 Feb. 2018.

Duboff, Josh. "Young Prince Philip Bears a Striking Resemblance to Prince Harry in This 1957 Picture." Vanity Fair, 26 Oct. 2016.

"Prince Charles Disowns Prince Harry After ‘DNA Shocker’?" Gossip Cop, 23 Feb. 2019.

Scott, Hugh. "Prince Charles Tells Prince Harry He’s Not His Dad?" Gossip Cop, 6 Nov. 2019.