Princess Diana Jokingly Calls Herself a 'Demented Lady' in Private Letters to Ex-Lover, Reveals Auctioneer
James Hewitt wanted to sell eight letters and 32 greeting cards for $150,000
Want to keep up with the latest royals coverage? Click here to subscribe to the Royals Newsletter
But a friend of Hewitt s tells PEOPLE he was never interested in selling them and that “all he wanted was a valuation.”
“There’s no question of him selling them. He will not be selling them. It is personal memorabilia,” the source tells PEOPLE. “He has nothing to sell and he won’t sell anything.”
According to Gary Zimet – a Los Angeles-based autograph dealer and owner of Moments in Time – Hewitt, a former household cavalry officer in the British Army, put his letters for sale through Zimet, who told PEOPLE Hewitt was looking to sell eight personal letters and about 32 greeting cards. In her famous 1995 Panorama interview, Diana stated that she’d had an affair with him.
“[The letters] are friendly in tone for the most part, nothing salacious,” Zimet tells PEOPLE. “This was the beginning of their relationship. It just shows that Diana is very fond of him.”
In a letter dated Dec. 19, 1987 – written on Kensington Palace stationery – Diana thanks Hewitt for Christmas presents he gave to her, as well as for his friendship, and encouraged him to reach out to her for anything.
“I think you are very brave to take this demented lady on,” the letter reads.
In another letter dated Feb. 19, 1988, Diana writes to him about a meaningful conversation the two had shared earlier, admitting that she divulged more than she had anticipated.
“I just hope that you weren’t too shocked or horribly disappointed in me,” the note reads.
A letter dated March 4, 1988 was written soon after one of their visits, and she tells of how “very empty” it is without him there.
“It was wonderful to see you tonight,” she writes, also mentioning the bottle of champagne they shared.
The greeting cards include several Valentine’s Day cards and other messages of love, including one that reveals she loves him “more than anything else in the world!”
Among the collection of greeting cards are two from William.
“One is birthday wishes, the other is a phenomenal thank you card,” says Zimet. “It’s a handwritten letter from William from when he was 6 years old, signed William and Harry, but it’s entirely in William’s hand, thanking Hewitt.”
In the card, the Prince thanks Hewitt for letting him play on his tank and with his guns.
Although Hewitt did get an offer for the letters and cards, he ultimately decided not to sell them, which Zimet believes was out of “fear of publicity.” But Hewitt’s friend tells PEOPLE that he never had any intention to sell the personal letters.
“James has had his guts full of this rubbish. He is not doing any harm to anyone, but people are trying to catch him,” the source says. “That guy fought in the Gulf War and was a hero on the front line and he should have been at a Remembrance ceremony yesterday, not listening to people attacking him again.”
• Reporting by SIMON PERRY