James Hewitt, the one-time lover of Princess Diana, is in hospital following a heart attack and stroke which almost killed him.
According to the London Daily Mirror, the 58-year-old was given a “slim chance” of survival and put in intensive care after the illness.
The former Army officer became seriously unwell about two weeks ago and was treated in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, southern England.
A relation told the newspaper: “The family were concerned. He was all set for a procedure when he had a heart attack. He had a pre-existing illness, then got seriously ill. Suddenly it got very critical and he was rushed to hospital.”
Hewitt, nicknamed The Cad, met Diana at a party in London in 1986 and she later asked him to teach her to ride horses. She was 25, he was 28.
They embarked on an affair that lasted for five years. It was long suspected that Hewitt was the biological father of Prince Harry, though as recently as March 2017 Hewitt denied this.
Hewitt saw action in the 1991 Gulf War. After leaving the Army in 1994, he embarked on a series of business schemes, none of which has ultimately been successful.
In 1999, two years after Diana’s death, he published a book detailing their romance called Prince in Love. It earned him about £100,000 but many considered this to be in poor taste.
In 2009 Hewitt set up a bar in Marbella, Spain, which closed in 2013.
He was made bankrupt twice and now lives with his widowed mother, Shirley, in a two-bedroom flat near Exeter.
In 2015 Hewitt allegedly tried to sell Diana’s love letters to him for £100,000.