SASHA Walpole has told how Prince Harry seduced her with a scrawled birthday card and a Miss Piggy funfair toy.
In a message the prince wrote: “Dear Sash, Have a very happy birthday and don’t get too p***ed! Luckily I’ll be there to keep an eye on you. Loads of love xx. Thanks for everything.”
Former groom Sasha said: “He gave me a card, with a joke about a farting whale on the front.”
The card was signed “Baz” — a name which Harry revealed he used when he appeared on a US chat show with host Stephen Colbert to promote his memoir Spare.
On the show Prince Harry said some friends call him “Baz, Bazza, Spike, Bazzarooni”.
Sasha added: “He never signed off with his real name, even on a text it would be H.
“He said, ‘Thanks for everything’ — it wasn’t for anything specific, but he could have been referring to my work at Highgrove House.”
Hours before their romp Harry and pals had visited Thorpe Park in Surrey.
Sasha said: “He won a Miss Piggy wearing a tropical outfit, and when he got to the party he gave it to me as a present with the card.
“I noticed that Harry had stuffed Miss Piggy’s bra with extra paper to give her boobs a boost.”
Sasha also revealed how Harry and brother William formed an 80-strong group of youngsters of different classes brought together by their love of horses.
She said: “Everyone was equal in the world of horses. It was a mixed bunch of polo players, grooms, hunt staff. You have racing people, the whole shebang.
“It was all about the horses. It didn’t matter if you’re a groom, a rider or a prince, nobody was bigger than anybody else.
“The grooms were given a lot of respect.
“You’re only as good as your groom and everyone knew the crap they had to deal with, the horses weren’t always easy.
“Harry didn’t act like a prince, there was no snobbery or hierarchy, it was just mates talking about horse events.”
Sasha was just 17 when she started working as an assistant groom at King Charles’s Gloucestershire home, Highgrove.
She continued: “They were lovely to work for and made me feel welcome. I would see the family from time to time.”
Sasha had first socialised with William, now 40, when the pair attended a show by the late Cornish stand-up comedian Jethro.
She said: “I think William enjoyed Jethro. When I met Harry he knew me as a groom and we started chatting.
“I saw them a lot when they were home. There was a trust that they could go out without having bother or hassle, surrounded by like-minded, horsey people.
“I saw Harry more as we went to the same places.
“He had a friend called Simon, and Guy Pelly, a cheeky lad who liked partying. He was the wilder one of the bunch.”
The brothers were always accompanied by “older” security officers who became familiar faces.
Sasha said: “The security trusted the group and let them get on with whatever, within reason.
“I never saw Harry really drunk, falling over.
“We could smoke in the pub back then but Harry wouldn’t smoke in front of people — that’s how we ended up in a field!
“William never smoked and he was in a slightly different group.
“If they were both there William was often at the other end of the pub. They were like brothers, not best mates. William would come over and tell Harry when it was time to go or they had somewhere else to go.
“Harry was outgoing, funny, the life and soul. He didn’t draw attention to himself, but he was fun. Just a normal lad, one of the group, no airs and graces.
“If he didn’t have his title you would never have known there was anything different.”
One pub where the group congregated was the Rattlebone Inn, in Sherston, Wiltshire, close to Highgrove.
Sasha said: “At the Rattlebone we would listen to a mix of music from country — such as Take Me Home and Sweet Home Alabama — right through to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.
“Harry and William liked a boogie. It was a little pub so there wasn’t a lot of room.
“It wasn’t about the drinking, it was about meeting up.
“But I’d have peach schnapps and lemonade or Smirnoff Ice if I wasn’t driving.”
Despite still only being 16 and at Eton College Harry would drink bottles of Sol or Corona with a wedge of lime.
Sasha said: “We’d all buy each other drinks but I can’t ever remember them going up to the bar. Harry was underage too, we all knew his age, so fake ID would not have worked.”
They’d also meet at The Vine Tree and The Cat and Custard Pot pubs, or attend events including polo and hunt balls.
Sasha said: “At The Rattlebone we had lock-ins. If the band were on it could be a 1am finish.
“I remember at the Vine Tree we played spin-the-bottle. The dares would be things like having to kiss someone. It was teenage stuff.
“Harry kissed a couple of people but I avoided that because it was a bit awkward as I think he quite liked a friend, Emma Lippiatt.
“He would be a bit more flirty with her really than the other girls. You could just sense it.”
Prince Harry was later linked to Emma, now 40, who was described as his “first love”.
Pictures show the pair embracing at Beaufort Polo Club in Tetbury, Gloucs, in June 2001 — the month before Sasha romped with Harry.
But Sasha, who was also in the pictures, said Emma was actually eating a Cornish pasty, and the Prince was trying to take a bite.
She explained: “Harry was being playful and revolting and trying to take a bite and lick it from Emma’s face — that is why I looked disgusted in the pictures.
“We’d just go up and watch, horses are what brought everybody together. That day Emma was there. We were pictured and she was the one that he was holding on to. They were tactile.”
Sasha was also invited to Club H, the chillout room Charles had set aside for William and Harry in the basement of Highgrove House.
Sasha said: “Probably we would have been out in the pub then we’d have an after-party down there.
“There were beanbags, a dartboard, more music. It was like a den. I went there a couple of times, around that same time in 2001.”
Sasha said she was attracted to Harry’s personality — not his looks.
She added: “Harry wasn’t ugly, he’s a nice-looking lad, but it was his personality that was attractive.
“That sparky, cheeky lad thing. You can have a laugh with him, feel relaxed around him.”
Harry didn’t act like a prince, it was just mates.
In spring 2001, after the hunting season had ended, Sasha had got a job in a local elastic factory, Stretchline, checking for faults in the material for knickers and bras.
It paid for nights out and fuel for her brown-and-blue Austin Metro.
It was around the same time that the pair attended a breast cancer awareness charity night in The Vine Tree and she took photos with a disposable camera.
Sasha said: “It would have been nice to have more pictures of our nights out but we didn’t have camera phones.
“It was a bit of fun. You had to wear pink. The landlady had a pink tinsel wig we were messing around with. I had it on but then Harry nabbed it off me.”
Sasha also revealed she had chats with Harry on the landline phone at her parents’ home.
She said: “It depended what we were chatting about as to how long we were on — or if I was holding up the phone for everyone else.
“We would have banter as mates, chat about bits and bobs, nothing important.
“We would also text on our mobiles saying, ‘What are you up to?’, ‘Where are you going?’ or ‘Are you going to watch the polo?’ I didn’t often ring his mobile, calls were expensive back then. And I never rang Highgrove. We all had each other’s numbers, now we’d have a WhatsApp group.”
But their socialising, together with all contact, ended abruptly after the pair had sex.
But Sasha doesn’t entirely blame what happened between them.
Sasha said: “It was foot and mouth disease. I was due to start work for the Sultan of Brunei at a spectacular yard but everything got grounded, the horses couldn’t leave the yards. I was redundant.
Harry wasn’t ugly, he’s a nice-looking lad, but it was his personality that was attractive.
“It had a knock-on effect socially, because there were no events.”
Sasha started mixing with a different set of friends and met her husband Ian, now 44 and a racing driver, in a nightclub in Warminster, Wilts.
They went on to have two children and instead of working long hours with horses she became a digger driver and now has her own groundworks business.
Sasha said: “I’d always driven dumpers and diggers with Dad.
“Ian bought me my first digger for my birthday. I drive a one-tonne that goes through doorways and a three-tonne too.
“I don’t think people will be amazed about me and Harry.
“People are usually amazed about me driving a digger.
“I think our friends from back then will be more surprised that I am driving a digger and not working with horses.
“But I like being in this world now, digging holes.”