Princess Diana with Oliver Hoare during Ascot Week on the 17th June 1986. Source: Mirror UK

The late Princess Diana’s alleged lover, Oliver Hoare, 73, is dead.

Hoare died at his French home after a long battle with cancer.

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According to Sun UK, the married father-of-three was a friend of Prince Charles and began an affair with the princess after her dad, Earl Spencer, died in 1992.

Their relationship flowered in the early 90s, although he never publicly admitted to it.

Sun reports that Diana allegedly smuggled Hoare into Kensington Palace in the boot of her car and security staff once found him half-naked and hiding behind a bay tree as he tried to sneak out after a fire alarm went off in the middle of the night.

Diana became increasingly infatuated with him and told her confidante, Lady Bowker, a diplomat’s widow, that she ‘daydreamed of living in Italy with the handsome Hoare’.