Royal author Tina Brown uncovered strong speculation in high-up circles that Di’s father was NOT the nobleman John Spencer – the Viscount of Althorp, who would later become an Earl.
Instead, there are whispers that the Princess may have been an illegitimate baby – a love child from a hush-hush affair between her aristocrat mom Frances Shand Kydd, then Spencer’s wife, and billionaire businessman Sir James Goldsmith, claims Brown.
Goldsmith, who was knighted by the Queen in 1976, when Diana was 15, was a wealthy, Jewish pharmaceutical tycoon, a notorious womanizer and a mere commoner.
When Goldsmith died of a heart attack while battling pancreatic cancer at age 64 in 1997, he was one of the richest men in the world. He’d been married three times, bedded countless mistresses and spawned at least eight children.
But for years before, there’d been whispers in Palace circles and at aristocrat gatherings that the over-the-counter drugs mogul had a fathered a girl with Di’s mom, Frances.
“Her husband (John) was drinking heavily and was beastly to her,” said a source. “She knew James Goldsmith and the rumor was they had a brief fling.
“At that time, its fair to say that Goldsmith was a sex maniac.”
In fact, the skirt-chasing, bed-hopping tycoon was quoted as saying: “When you marry your mistress – you create a job vacancy.”
Adding fuel to the buzz that the tycoon was Di’s dad was the startling fact that the Princess bore “a close physical likeness to Jemima” – Goldsmith’s daughter, a noted palace insider.
While Jemima was a dozen years younger than the Princess, she and Diana were close friends – as close as sisters. The Goldsmiths were even described as Di’s second family.
And Jemima’s mom Lady Annabel, who had been Goldsmith’s mistress before he married her, was called Diana’s “confidante.”
Two years before her death, Di traveled with Jemima on a humanitarian visit to a cancer hospital in Pakistan, the native country of Jemima’s husband, cricket superstar Imran Khan.
The women flew onboard one of Goldsmith’s private jets and stayed with Lady Annabel at the same mansion.
She noted that Diana had confessed to her that she “was finished with” Hasmar Khan, the Pakistani heart surgeon she’d also been seeing.
Sadly, Lady Annabel revealed that “Diana said she was having a wonderful time and had never been so spoiled.”
Diana repeatedly denied that she was Goldsmith’s love child, and author Brown never found proof that she was.
But there was no denying that the princess was as close to the billionaire’s family as if she were a member.
That’s why, as one insider noted: “The story that Diana’s real father was business mogul Sir James Goldsmith has been on the Royals grapevine for years.”