Sasha Walpole, the mystery lover in Duke of Sussex's memoir, recalls the ... trends now
The digger driver who took Prince Harry’s virginity spoke last night of the embarrassment of having to tell her father that she was the ‘older woman’ described in the duke’s explosive memoir.
Sasha Walpole, now 40, laughed with her sister the morning after the five-minute sex session in a pub field in July 2001, and confessed what happened to her mother at the time.
But her father had remained oblivious for 21 years – until the publication of Spare sparked a global guessing game and forced her to tell him.
Harry wrote how a horse-loving ‘older woman’ treated him ‘not unlike a young stallion’ and ‘smacked my rump and sent me off to graze’ after a ‘quick ride’. Harry was 16 at the time and Mrs Walpole was celebrating her 19th birthday.
His graphic description of the ‘inglorious episode’ provoked international intrigue over the mystery lover’s identity which saw a number of women rule themselves out.
Sasha Walpole spoke last night of the embarrassment of having to tell her father that she was the ‘older woman’ described in the duke’s explosive memoir
Sasha and Prince Harry pictured as youngsters. Left to right: Emma Lippiatt, Sasha Walpole (nee Alvis), Prince Harry and Lizzie Ward at The Beaufort Polo Club, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire
After their one-night stand, Harry cut contact with Sasha. Pictured: Dressed ready for a Polo ball
Spare became the fastest selling non-fiction book in the UK since records began in 1998, and sold 3.2million copies worldwide in the first week of publication
Former Highgrove groom Mrs Walpole knew that it was only a matter of time until her name leaked and so decided to tell her story to The Mail on Sunday this weekend.
First, she wanted the approval of her mother Lyn Alvis, 63, a hotel cleaner, and her 71-year-old groundworker father, Tony, both of whom she thought knew. But it quickly became apparent that her father had no idea – meaning she was forced to lay bare all the excruciating details to him.
‘It is something your parents probably should never read,’ said Mrs Walpole, a mother of two who now drives diggers for a living.
‘The day after I had sex with Harry I was in the kitchen at home and told my mum, but I didn’t give details. I think she was just like, “OK”. She trusted me, she knew I was on the Pill.
‘I thought we told Dad too but now I realise he hadn’t listened because he didn’t want to hear about what his teenage daughter was doing.’
The family never spoke about the encounter again until Harry published his infamous description last month.
Shortly after Spare came out, Mrs Walpole phoned her father to get his opinion on giving her version of events to the Press.
‘I was on the way to Morrisons to do the grocery shopping,’ she said. ‘At first we were talking about a job and then I said, “I just don’t know what to do about speaking out”. He didn’t react. Normally Dad would give his advice. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he just didn’t know.
Mrs Walpole had invited the then 16-year-old to her 19th birthday party at The Vine Tree pub (pictured) in the Wiltshire village of Norton in July 2001
Aerial pictures of the Vine tree pub showing the surrounding fields where Sasha says the pair had sex
‘I was thinking, “I am sure he knows”. The next day I spoke to Mum and said, “Does Dad know?”. She said, “I think so”. She spoke to him and he was like, “I did not know”. He explained that he probably wasn’t listening [back in 2001] because he didn’t want to know.’
It meant Mr Alvis was then forced to read and listen to all the details about his daughter.
Mrs Walpole said last night: ‘It is awkward because of what Harry has written about me slapping his bum, really cringey.
‘It flared up because of the way Harry has written it. That is why I am in this situation. Harry has put it out there.
‘If Dad has an opinion on what Harry has done, he wouldn’t say it. He wouldn’t stew on it, as long as I am OK. My parents’ concern is for my safety. They just want me to be OK.’
Despite being a ‘private’ couple, Mrs Walpole’s parents backed her decision to speak out.
Yesterday she told the Mail how she is ‘relieved’ the truth is finally out. ‘I don’t have to worry any more and I can get back to my life,’ she said. ‘I want to thank The Mail on Sunday for allowing me to tell my side. I’m not ashamed.
‘There’s no regret. It was a moment of madness and life is about experiences.
‘I have no idea what Harry thought when he read it. He hasn’t contacted me and I don’t think he will. I’m not the same girl I was back then and he’s not the same lad. From my side of things it’s done and I don’t have to live in fear it’s going to come out.’
Mrs Walpole has received hundreds of supportive messages from the public calling her ‘authentic’ and praising her for taking ownership of the story – away from Prince Harry.
‘I’m so grateful people have understood this is something I had to do,’ she said. ‘I’m so happy.’
Mrs Walpole has also been dubbed a ‘dark horse’ by her shocked friends who had no idea that she had slept with Harry until her revelation.
Sasha (left) and Harry (right) larking about at a