Princess Diana‘s former lover James Hewitt looked a far cry from the dashing Army officer who captured the late royal’s heart as he was spotted running errands this week.
The 62-year-old former polo player, now with receding hair and wearing glasses, was spotted popping into a supermarket to pick up his shopping in Exeter on Wednesday.
The Gulf War veteran, who joined the army at the age of 20, donned his Brigade of Guards tie for the outing.
It comes after it was revealed James, who had a five-year affair with Diana while she was married to Prince Charles, is working as a £4,000-a-year gardener in the grounds of the flat where he lives with his elderly mother.
Princess Diana ‘s former lover James Hewitt, 62, looks a far cry from the dashing Army officer who captured the late royal’s heart as he was spotted running errands over the weekend
The 62-year-old former polo player, now with receding hair and wearing glasses, was spotted popping into a supermarket to pick up his shopping in Exeter
Mr Hewitt came to public prominence in 1991 when his ex-fiancee revealed that they had split over his affair with Diana.
The affair had lasted for five years from 1986 when he had been asked to give the mother-of-two horse-riding lessons.
A now iconic photo, taken during their secret relationship, shows Diana presenting the Captain and Subalterns Cup to Mr Hewitt after leading his Army polo team to glory at Tidworth, Wiltshire.
Hewitt had spent 17 years in the Household Cavalry and was a tank commander in the first Gulf war.
In a now iconic image at the height of their affair, Diana was pictured presenting the Life Guards officer with a polo trophy in 1989
But when it emerged that he had enjoyed a long correspondence with the Princess of Wales during the Gulf War, he was discharged from the Life Guards in 1994.
After the affair was made public, he was repeatedly accused of cashing in on the relationship.
In 1994, three years before Diana’s death and two years after her formal separation from Prince Charles, Mr Hewitt co-operated with author Anna Pasternak for the book Princess in Love. It became a best seller.
It led to Diana telling Martin Bashir in her famous tell-all Panorama interview: ‘Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down,’
James, who joined the army at the age of 20, donned his Brigade of Guards tie for the outing to the supermarket
James loaded up his trolley full of shopping, including sparkling wine and other groceries , before placing it into his Porsche
In the years that followed her death, Mr Hewitt wrote two more books about the relationship while appearing on reality TV shows.
He was repeatedly accused of plotting to sell the private letters he had been sent by the Princess but no sale has ever been revealed.
He moved to Marbella to open his own bar, the Polo Club, but that closed in 2013 and he moved back to the West Country to be closer to his mother.
In a 2011 interview, he credited his mother Shirley, now 92, for saving his life when he was suicidal in the 1990s.
The ex-Army captain and Gulf War veteran, who had a five-year affair with Diana while she was married to Prince Charles, wore his Brigade of Guards tie for the outing
Red-headed James now leads a lonely life sharing an apartment in a converted stately home deep in the English countryside with his elderly mother.
His mother, Shirley previously revealed: ‘James leads a quiet life. He comes and goes from here and doesn’t want anyone else to know his business.’
It was revealed earlier this month James tends the grounds of the 17th Century manor house that stretch across six acres and include two ponds.
The former military man, who was mentioned in dispatches in the first Gulf War, is responsible for the upkeep of the front of the house and the immediate back garden.
His salary is funded by the residents’ association at the block of flats where his mother lives, called the Farringdon House residents, who all pay into a fund which is then overseen by a management company.
James, who lives with his 92-year-old mother in Exeter, carefully placed his coat over his trolley as he finished shopping for the day
The 62-year-old former polo player, now with receding hair and wearing glasses, was spotted popping into a supermarket to pick up his shopping in Exeter earlier this week
For this, he is paid £15-a-day plus two extra payments of £250 every six months to upkeep another neighbouring plot.
Only four years ago Hewitt suffered a stroke and heart attack and spent several weeks in hospital recovering.
Now he is feeling well enough to try online dating where his Tinder profile says he is seeking women of around the age of 50 to enter his affections.
It is all a far cry from his earlier life where he had won the heart of a Princess and would even read bedtime stories to her young sons.
James shares an apartment in this converted stately home in Devon with his mother