Diana, Princess of Wales, waves to the public as she leaves the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney on November 1, 1996. PICTURE: Torsten Blackwood / AFP

He broke Princess Diana’s heart when he used her love letters to publish a book about their affair.

He has spent the two decades since her death trying to cash in on their five-year relationship even attempting to sell her letters to the highest bidder as recently as 16 months ago.  But now the princess’ disgraced ex-lover James Hewitt, 58, claims his biggest regret’is ever speaking publicly about Diana. Ironically, he made the comments as he rakes over the relationship once again this time for an interview on Australian TV.

‘He wishes he’d never said a word, never jumped on the fame rollercoaster, and never betrayed her confidence,’ wrote Melissa Doyle, the TV host, in a preview.  Their romance began in 1986 after Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles had broken down. She met the once dashing Calvary officer at a friend’s cocktail party and the relationship continued when Hewitt was sent to fight in the first Gulf War as a tank commander but finally ended in 1992.

Today he cuts a lonely figure, sharing a flat with his mother in Devon, close to the cottage where he and Diana used to meet.  In the interview ahead of the 20th anniversary of the princess’ death, Mr Hewitt denied that he was a ‘love rat’ and said the stories about him were damaging. But he did not ever regret meeting Diana, saying: ‘I regret some of the things that have been caused by that but I don’t regret meeting her at all, no way.’

Recalling how he fell in love with the princess, Mr Hewitt said he wanted to ‘whisk her away’ from the spotlight. He also again denied suggestions he was Prince Harry’s father. Asked why the rumour persisted, he replied: ‘It sells papers. It’s worse for him, probably, poor chap.’

© Daily Mail