It was one of the more intimate revelations in Prince Harry’s memoir and one that, for many, raised more questions than it answered.
Who was the horse-mad woman who took his virginity in a field during what the British royal himself admitted was a rather “inglorious episode”?
The mystery has now taken a twist after Rupert Everett teased that he knew the identity of the woman in question.
Everett was interviewed on the day Harry’s memoir, Spare, was published.
“By the way,” he offered. “I know who the woman he lost his virginity to is. And it wasn’t behind a pub. And it wasn’t in this country.”
Asked if he was suggesting Harry had purposefully tried to cover his tracks, to protect the identity of the woman who was really involved in the tryst, he offered little more than a sly grin. “I’m just putting it out there that I know,” he added.
Harry painted quite a picture of the episode in his book.
“Inglorious episode, with an older woman,” he wrote. “She liked horses, quite a lot, and treated me not unlike a young stallion. Quick ride, after which she’d smacked my rump and sent me off to graze. Among the many things about it that were wrong: it happened in a grassy field behind a busy pub.”
The first older woman identified as a potential suspect was Liz Hurley.
The actress was asked in an interview if she was the woman in question. “Not me. I’m not guilty,” she replied, adding for clarity: “No. Not me. Absolutely not.”
The incident is alleged to have taken place at the Rattlebone Inn in Sherston, Wilts, where both Harry and Prince William were regular visitors.
Suzannah Harvey (44), a former model, and Catherine Ommanney (51), an interior designer, both sought to distance themselves from the encounter.
Ms Harvey has previously admitted “passionately kissing” the prince in a muddy field after a Christmas ball in 2001, when she was 23.
But last month, she posted a picture of herself with a packet of Ginger Nuts on Instagram, writing: “The only ones I’ve ever touched... believe zero of what you read.”
Ms Ommanney, who dated Harry when she was 34 and he was 21, told The Sun she hated horses and she was “definitely not that girl in the field”.
Meanwhile, Everett revealed that the memoir had altered his perception of Harry.
“It’s made me change my view,” he said. “I was angry before, and now I just feel very sad – sad for Harry. I felt so sympathetic towards him for years and I still do now. Honestly!
“As someone who has put his foot in it quite a bit, I feel particularly bad for him about the Taliban thing. That changed everything and loses him the one group that still loved him.”