September 23, 2002 01:00 PM

Britain’s biggest cad tried to put one rumor to rest over the weekend, when the late Princess Diana’s onetime lover, former cavalry officer James Hewitt, denied he is the father of her younger son, Prince Harry.

“I have been aware for a while that the issue of Harry’s paternity has been a major talking point. There really is no possibility whatsoever that I am Harry’s father,” Hewitt, 44, is quoted as saying in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

“I can understand the interest, but Harry was already walking by the time my relationship with Diana began.”

Buckingham Palace said it had no comment on Hewitt’s remarks, according to Reuters.

Hewitt said he first began his five-year affair with Diana in 1986, when Harry was two. Hewitt in the past has cashed in on the relationship, selling his story to newspapers and detailing what went on to journalist Anna Pasternak for her book “Princess in Love.”

While there have long been whispers about the young royal’s striking similar looks to Hewitt’s, the Sunday Mirror says the rumors grew louder after photos taken of the prince for his 18th birthday were published. He and Hewitt do look remarkably similar.

“Admittedly the red hair is similar to mine and people say we look alike,” Hewitt said. “Looking at the pictures I would say he is a much more handsome chap than I ever was.”

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