Last night the paper's editor, Piers Morgan, said: 'I have no doubt about the story. Major Hewitt is on tape for every quote in the paper. There were a series of meetings, one of which I attended.'
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: 'I haven't seen these claims. We will not be commenting. We would leave it to members of the reading public to make up their own minds about people who pass on gossip of this sort based on acquaintanceship with members of the Royal Family.'
In a related development, thousands of copies of a hardback book containing extensive allegations about a relationship between Major Hewitt and the princess are expected to be delivered to bookshops today.
The News of the World claims that at a meeting at the Basil Street Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, Major Hewitt, 36, was asked if he had made love to Princess Diana. He nodded and answered with a 'terse but emphatic 'yes' '.
The paper quotes Major Hewitt as saying that the princess would 'often come secretly to stay with me at my home in Devon and I would see her at Kensington Palace while Charles was away'.
Educated at Millfield and Sandhurst, Major Hewitt was a tank commander in the Gulf war, and was mentioned in dispatches. His friendship with the princess is supposed to have begun when he taught her to ride. In March he was made redundant from the army after 17 years' service, and sold an account of his friendship to the Daily Express.Reuse content