By Stephen M. Silverman And Simon Perry
Updated September 24, 2003 11:55 AM

Royal rat James Hewitt is due to arrive in America on Wednesday for another round of primetime TV publicity that will inevitably be interpreted as a bid to sell his letters from his onetime lover, Princess Diana, reports PEOPLE.

Hewitt, 45, has been trying to unload the 64 missives for a hefty price since the beginning of the year, saying (according to British tabloids breaking the story) he would accept no less than $15 million.

This week, says PEOPLE’s London bureau, the former military man revealed that he has received his first formal offer — for a measly $1million, which he reportedly turned down.

The prospective buyer, businessman Ian Wills, intended to hand the letters over to Diana’s sons, Princes William, 21, and Harry, 19.

Despite his mercenary reputation, Hewitt himself has apparently flirted with the idea of handing them over to the boys for little or no money, and has met with one of Prince Charles’s staff informally about the matter.

This Friday night, Hewitt is set to appear on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” It was on that show last January that he spoke of his plan to sell the letters.

Whether Hewitt can eventually redeem himself remains to be seen, but his pals tell PEOPLE that they think he is wrong to continue seeking publicity.

“The best way to reinvent himself would be to retire from the limelight and do some work for charity,” says one.