It contains the controversial allegation that James Hewitt and Princess Diana began their affair some years before Prince Harry—with whom Hewitt shares an uncanny resemblance—was conceived.
Conway interviewed Hewitt—along with other key players in the Diana Truther canon, such as royal waiter Paul Burrell and Dodi Fayed’s father Mohammed—for the play, and recreates a conversation he had with Hewitt, in which Hewitt says, “Diana and I started our relationship more than a year before Harry was born. Now that doesn’t prove that I am his father. It’s just the inconvenient truth.”
The global news centrifuge has predictably spun this line into a new Harry paternity shocker, but before I talk to Conway his assistant emails me a stern message, saying, “Truth, Lies, Diana contains one five minute scene about James Hewitt. Ironically, the play deals with the ‘management’ of information by the Establishment. Neither the play nor Hewitt claim he is the father. Certain media outlets have simply not reported truthfully.”
But when we actually speak, almost the first thing Conway tells me is that the Hewitt/Harry story, into which he has single-handedly breathed new life, was, for a hot minute at the weekend, the top trending news story on the planet.
As an experienced and successful producer (he wrote and created the David Essex vehicle All The Fun Of The Fair among many other hits) Conway clearly knows the value of publicity.
In the next breath, however, he is decrying the press misinterpretation of his Diana script.
“The play contains one five minute scene about James Hewitt,” Conway says. “The reason it’s included is because I believe the start of the disinformation about Diana goes back to Hewitt. On record, he’s never said anything bad about the Royal Family, he’s never claimed to be Harry’s father and he isn’t claiming that now. What he said was, ‘The inconvenient truth is, I actually did know her before, but we’ve all kept quiet because of the furor it would cause and people would put two and two together…’
“And of course that’s exactly what’s happened.”
“I feel bad that he’s been misrepresented [in press reports of the play’s script] and it’s a tiny part of the play.”
It all sounds like a mission to both have one’s cake and eat it, but audiences will get to decide for themselves—very literally as the play features several “audience polls”—when it opens in London on January 9.
The play’s structure is that a journalist (played by Conway) who is writing a play about the death of Diana discovers simultaneously that his wife is having an affair and that the establishment is ‘telling lies’ about Diana’s death.
“The play is actually about the effect that people telling lies has on you, whether it’s at a small level, domestically at home, or whether it’s at a massive big government international news level. And among the many things that we talk about is the fact that we’ve not always been told the truth, particularly regarding Diana,” he says.
Conway interviewed Hewitt, Paul Burrell (Diana’s butler), Mohammed Al Fayed, newspaper editors, people from special branch, and other senior policemen.
“All the interviews that I did with these people are in the play, as is what they said to me in the interviews or what they’ve said on the public record or, more pertinently, what they said at Diana’s inquest. In the transcription of the original inquest I just came across the most astonishing revelations, that were in the public domain and have gone either unnoticed or not reported.”
Conway says the audience is asked to vote all the way through the show. “We take four votes, and we say, ‘Right, you be the jury,’ and we try to be very balanced. Now, clearly my character is the one that’s saying, ‘I think something dodgy went down,’ but there’s another character that says, ‘No, no, no, no, no, here’s the real evidence, this is hearsay, this is conspiracy,’ and we ask the audience to vote.”
One of the revelations the audience must take into their decision is a series of odd details about the ambulance that took Diana to hospital—specifically the claim that that the ambulance did not have any communication with the hospital for the last 37 minutes of her life.
“The ambulance sent out three units, and when they got there, the doctor said, ‘There are two dead, one seriously injured and the princess has concussion, possibly a broken arm but no serious injuries.’ That is in the ambulance report that I have a copy of. That was presented at the inquest. Forty minutes later he says, ‘I think she may have chest injuries now.’
“It took them an hour to get her out of the car and into the ambulance. When the ambulance eventually left, having been told to leave twice by dispatch, they are then told, ‘We want to stop all communications for reasons of discretion,’ and that was the term they used, discretion, and it was later explained that that meant they didn’t want the press to tune in [to the radio]. So they cut all communication. That is unheard of.
“What is even more sinister is that that ambulance stopped for five minutes 600 yards from the hospital gates. That is a fact recorded by the doctor in charge of the ambulance at the inquest. He said he wanted to stabilize her condition. Now, you may argue that within 600 yards of the hospital they should have driven hell for leather and got her into an operating theater.”
Conway goes on to list a series of other coincidences that he suggests are not simply explained.
“Every security, speed and traffic camera was either turned off, pointing in the wrong direction or not working on the route that Diana’s car took. Henri Paul actually worked for the French Secret Service and he had €200,000 in his account when he only earned €30,000 a year. Forget James Hewitt, that’s chicken feed compared to these other things…I’m still only scratching the surface of it.”
Conway also brings up the well-rehearsed allegation that Diana was pregnant at the time of her death.
“The Metropolitan Police published a list of phone calls made from Balmoral at five o’clock in the morning after Diana died and several were to funeral directors and embalmers and yet, at the inquest, it’s denied that there was any royal involvement in the embalming.”
Why does he think the embalming is relevant?
“Well, that’s the question we asked the audience to answer. I mean there are people who have gone on record before saying they think that Diana was pregnant, but whether she was or she wasn’t, the fact is, it’s a very astonishing thing to do to embalm somebody by lunchtime and then fly them home for an autopsy afterwards at dinnertime. You just don’t do that, and the question is why?”
Conway estimates that the vast majority of people who saw the play when it was performed as a staged reading on two nights in New York came out believing “Diana was murdered” or that “something dodgy went down.”
“To me this is astonishingly important stuff. With respect, I don’t really care about the Hewitt-Harry thing, I mean who knows, who’ll ever prove it, that’s not important. That’s gossip. But this is astonishingly important? It’s like finding out that somebody else was standing beside Lee Harvey Oswald.”