If anyone knew what was going on behind the closed doors in the royal quarters, it would be Paul Burrell, Princess Diana’s former butler. After our beloved Princess Diana’s death, he revealed shocking secrets about Diana and her private life, much to her family’s horror. Burrell is now Harry’s butler, and after the wedding of the late princess’ son, Burrell has finally spoken out about Harry and Meghan Markle’s marriage. Find out more as you read!
Burrell had been serving the royal family for decades. That’s why we can trust that he knew what he’s talking about. He first went to visit Buckingham Palace when he was a child. Since then, he became fascinated with the British monarchy. Eventually, he was able to acquire a prestigious position as Queen Elizabeth’s footman. Yes, he knows everything about the most famous family in Britain.
Eventually, Burrell’s dual role in the royal family gave him a renowned household name. For ten years, he served as Princess Diana’s butler, who brought him closer to his boss when it all ended because of her untimely death. Burrell told us that he was “the only man [Diana] ever trusted.”
A Controversial Figure
Although Burrell was relieved of his duties, he frequently made it to the tabloid headlines and became a controversial figure. Following allegations, the police conducted a raid in Cheshire County in England in 2001. Burrell has allegedly robbed Diana, her ex-husband Charles, and her eldest sibling, Prince William has accused what one came to his rescue? It’s Her Majesty!
Speaking In His Defense
Despite being charged with theft, Burrell’s prosecution was sensationally ignored after the Queen interfered in his defense. She had granted permission to her former employee to store the 310 products in question. The court charges against Burrell are dismissed as a consequence of this decision.
Not The Last Time
This will not, though, be the last time Burrell’s acts were brought into doubt. During the inquiry into Diana’s death in 2008, an ex-royal household member was found to have illegally duplicated the princess’s and others’ communications. On the other side, Burrell said that he did so because of the papers’ “historical significance.”
His Personal Life
And there’s Burrell’s personal life, which has sparked much debate. After 32 years of marriage, he and his wife Maria declared their divorce in 2016. A year back, the ex-butler married for the second time with his wife, Graham Cooper. According to a source, Burrell once told Diana that he was homosexual.
Is It True?
Was this the situation? Burrell has resigned. “Diana and I never explored my sexuality in-depth, but it was a known fact between us,” he said OK! Magazine in 2020. “Let’s face it: I created beautiful floral arrangements, selected her dresses, and advised her. All of the hints were there, and she was a sly lady.”
Being In The Spotlight
Burrell has reveled in the spotlight, not least by authoring a slew of books concerning his relationships with the royal family. He’s already a reality TV regular, having starred on Celebrity Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Australian Princess in the United Kingdom, and serve as a judge on Australian Princess. Since he had firsthand experience of the royal family’s inner workings, the ex-butler is regarded as an authority.
The Ideal Correspondent
Burrell was, therefore, an ideal royal reporter for Lorraine, a British morning television program. He was employed in the days leading up to Harry and Meghan’s wedding, and his proximity to the groom’s mother is claimed to have helped him win the role.
Giving His Opinions
Burrell hasn’t stopped talking about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since. During an interview for the 2019 British documentary Kate v Meghan: Princesses at War?, the former royal aide characterized the Suits actress as a “powerful and independent individual.” Nonetheless, he doubted that anyone with such a modest upbringing might relate to her new opulent surroundings.
Marrying The Most Traditional Family
According to Burrell, “Meghan has married into the most conservative family in the country: the royal family.” He went on, “How is she going to do with it?” Princess Diana has raised in a mansion the size of Buckingham Palace, and she was lost.” He said this when building comparisons with the lady he had known for a decade.
Meghan would be in major trouble if she did not obey royal etiquette, according to Burrell. “For those visiting Buckingham Palace for the first time, it is a minefield. People set traps, and they weren’t real good to this young girl just joining this country. Who might like to be a member of the family?” Burrell said.
On the other hand, Burrell sent Meghan some suggestions to help her deal with the stresses of becoming a princess. He urged her to get to know the family’s most influential member, Harry’s grandma, the Queen. Diana’s presumed confidante even urged Meghan to remain as loyal to her current husband as possible.
Commenting On The Couple
Burrell has proceeded to make remarks about the royal couple since then. On a May 2019 episode of Good Morning Britain, he was questioned for his thoughts on Harry and Meghan’s son Archie’s birth. In answer to a query regarding how Diana might have gotten her fourth grandchild, he said, “She’d be in her element, wouldn’t she?” “[Meghan’s mother] Doria will not get a peek in,” he went on. She’d have been overjoyed.”
Protective Of His Family
However, it was not the end of the matter. Burrell featured on Good Morning Britain in October 2019, after the British television debut of Harry and Meghan: An African Trip. In the documentary, the Duke of Sussex reveals why he feels obligated to defend his relatives, saying, “My mom specifically taught me a certain collection of principles of which I will still strive to maintain – including the position and the work that often requires if you know what I mean.”
A Loving Husband
“Everything that [Diana] went through and what happened to her is painfully raw every single day,” Harry added. “So it’s not that I’m paranoid; it’s just that I don’t want a replay of the experience.” And if someone else knew what I knew – be a parent, a partner, or someone else – you’d probably be doing the same stuff I’m doing.”
“I knew [Harry] was distraught, and to step behind his mother’s coffin in front of the world was so dreadful,” Burrell said about the documentary on Good Morning Britain. “And it has had an enormous effect on him,” he said. He claims the media followed [Diana] to her death.”
With his propensity to make some provocative comments, it’s no joke that Burrell was invited back to Good Morning Britain in January 2020. Harry and Meghan famously revealed that they would be standing down as senior royals later that month. Following his thoughts on the drama, the retired butler drew yet another comparison between Meghan and Diana.
What Diana Might Do
To begin with, Burrell believed his late employer must have approved of the couple’s controversial decision. He said, “As I’ve seen this happen in America, I’ve been thinking of [Diana].” She must have offered the boys guidance and suggested to them, ‘Marry for love,’ which they have, ‘Be kind and kind to your partner,’ which they both have, but [also] ‘Be content.'”
Not Afraid To Cut Ties
“Diana wasn’t [happy], and Meghan and Harry aren’t [either] in the setting they’re in – being suffocated by the royal household,” Burrell added from his Florida home. “Diana finds it difficult, marrying the whole family.” He also claimed that Diana and Meghan were not afraid to break links with others if possible.
Wanting To Flee
Diana, according to Burrell, had already intended to leave her country. According to the former royal aide, “she had the arrangements for that on her living room floor to purchase a house in Malibu before she went abroad to the Mediterranean.” Is it any wonder Harry is chasing his wife’s wishes and [in] his mother’s footsteps?”
Burrell did, though, show concern with one of his previous bosses. “Of course, I feel unfortunate for the Queen,” he says. 93 years ago. Our queen has seen a great deal through the years and seen a great deal happen to her kin, and she has evolved with the times.”
Prince Harry And His Brother
Burrell shared doubt regarding the prince’s friendship with his older brother, adding, “I feel sad for William and Harry not having the connection they once had.” When their mother passed, they became bonded and inseparable. I’m sorry, and I’m sure their mother is as well.”
Taking Her Side
However, when Piers Morgan of Good Morning Britain asked Harry and Meghan regarding their job ethic, Burrell claimed to help Meghan. “It’s difficult for the outside world to grasp what it’s like to exist in a palace,” he retorted. You marry the whole family, not just one male. [Meghan] was utterly oblivious of what she was letting herself into. Nobody else can.”
A Note From Diana
Burrell then reported having gotten a letter from Diana, stating, “I recently saw a letter [that the princess] sent to me.” She wrote to me about her potential, saying, ‘I will look up and live, laugh, and love.’ And I agree they are sincere terms to give to Harry and Meghan.”
Supporting Them Unconditionally
So, will Diana have approved of her youngest son’s partnership, according to Burrell? In an interview with CheshireLive in April 2020, the former butler hinted as much, adding, “Princess Diana must have needed her sons to be content and would have loved them unconditionally.”
Living A Happy Life
“[With Harry] being sixth in line to the throne, it is doubtful that he would become king,” Burrell said. Why not offer [him and Meghan] a happier life? And with the Queen’s support, there’s no excuse why they can’t accomplish their ambitions and be fully self-sufficient.”
A Lot In Common
Burrell discussed something in common with Harry’s wife and his late mother in an interview with Closer the next month. He said, “Harry sought and married Meghan because she is close to Diana.” Both [are] independent people who will never step away from speaking up for what they believe in.” Despite this, Burrell suggests that if Diana were still living, Meghan and Diana’s similarity might have caused some friction.
They Would Have Clashed
“I believe [Diana and Meghan] may have clashed,” Burrell hypothesized. “I imagine it would have been two powerful, autonomous women with opposite viewpoints. It must have come down to Meghan’s way and Diana’s way.” He didn’t, though, dispute that the two are different in several respects.
The Main Difference
According to Burrell, “the biggest distinction between them is that Meghan has a game plan, while Diana was inexperienced and naive.” While the princess claims to have used the media during her career, her former butler indicated that it was not for the same purposes as Meghan.
Courting The Press
According to Burrell, “Diana did the book with Andrew Morton and courted the press over the years when she didn’t have a voice.” “And her tenacity meant she loved, and she believed the citizens of the world had a right to know what was going on behind closed doors. You might claim Meghan does as well, but I believe her press courtship is mostly about her career.”
Selling Her Public Image
According to Burrell, the Duchess of Sussex is far more relaxed selling her public profile than her late mother-in-law. He went on to state, “In years to come, we’ll see [Meghan] on red carpets, with A-list friends, and maybe in films.” Diana, on the other side, was not like that. She seemed uninterested in promoting herself.”
Worrying For The Family
Burrell seems to be worried about Meghan’s news ties in particular. According to the ex-royal aide, the duchess and her husband should preclude any mention of being stalked. “They still need to consider being photographed by the paparazzi,” he said. They can’t have a fully private life.”
From A Celebrity To A Royal
Meghan’s perceived love of the limelight has previously annoyed Burrell. In a 2019 article for The Sun, he said, “The distinctions between celebrity and royal are increasingly blurred.” There is a definite distinction between the two, and Meghan is oblivious to it. ‘We are not celebrities,’ the Queen has always claimed. Being a princess is something completely different.’”
A Part Of The Royal Family
“[Meghan] might claim she doesn’t have to toe the line, but she has a royal title now, and becoming a part of the royal family demands a lot,” He added. “She can’t get her cake and eat it, too. I believe we will all have to wait with bated breath to see if this one plays out. It is undeniably a ferocious, tempestuous comet that is streaking through the royal family.”
Having A Baby
Unlike most of the press, Burrell does not think the Duchess of Sussex is the brains behind her partnership. He said, “Meghan is an intelligent woman with her mind.” She may seem to be exploiting Harry, but she is not! I’m sure they talk about it, and they’ll have another kid soon.” He was right about the boy!
Making Headlines For Other Reasons
On the other hand, Burrell is recognized for more than just his thoughts on Harry and Meghan. In May 2020, he made news again as he announced what he said was a previously unpublished letter from Princess Diana. The royal references a visit to Mother Teresa’s Calcutta convent home in the note, reportedly published in 1992. Although Diana did not have the chance to visit the saint, the travel seems to have been immensely valuable to her.
Deep Spiritual Experience
In a handwritten letter to Burrell, Diana disclosed, “Today, something significant touched my life.” I went to Mother Teresa’s house and got the answers I’d been looking for for years. When I entered, the sisters sang to be – a truly sacred moment – and I rose to many great heights of my spirit.”
What Is He Up To Now?
What else is Burrell up to now that he isn’t hanging around with royalty? In 2019, he closed his floristry company, which he had owned for nearly 18 years, to travel with his husband, Cooper. He also told the Daily Mail about the forthcoming tour, saying, “I want to take [Cooper] to places I’ve been with the Queen and the princess and think, ‘I recall being on this spot with the Queen on the Great Wall of China.'”
Not Just Burrell
Burrell isn’t the only one who has discovered new info about Diana. Firefighters were on the scene the night of the tragic crash that took the princess’ life, trying to rescue the princess and her fellow travelers. A member of the ambulance crew witnessed what he thought to be Diana’s last words while on the job, which he later revealed years after her death.
The Fireman At The Scene
When Xavier Gourmelon appears, he has no idea who is involved in a traffic crash inside a Paris tunnel. She pulls him closer while the firefighter removes a blonde woman from the wreckage’s back. She may like to talk to him. Gourmelon has no idea that the words she says to the man trying to rescue her would be the last words she ever speaks.
Heading To The Scene
Gourmelon was one of ten firefighters called to the Pont d’Alma underpass. They found a Mercedes-Benz W140 with a shattered front end. Unfortunately, it seemed that one of the men inside had already disappeared. Consequently, Gourmelon scrambled to see how he should assist, and the blonde woman proved to be a perfect choice.
Keeping Her Last Words Secret
Gourmelon was shocked to discover that the woman had died in surgery, considering her reasonably healthy state while in the tube. The fact that the person in dispute was none other than Princess Diana exacerbated the case. The Paris firefighter decided to hold her last thoughts to himself for the next two decades, unbeknownst to most of the planet.
Her Life Changed Forever
Diana had grown up as a daughter of the British elite and was living near the royal estate of Sandringham until her horrific death. After struggling to succeed in education, Winston Churchill’s distant cousin found employment performing menial jobs. Yet greater things beckoned for the fresh-faced young lady, and her world will change forever.
She Caught The Prince Of Wales’ Attention
When Diana was a child, she reportedly caught the interest of her sister Sarah’s fiance, Charles, Prince of Wales. She was dating the British successor to the throne until she realized it. In 1981, the pair wed in a luxurious wedding that was televised live to hundreds of millions worldwide.
The Princess Of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales, should have had the world at her disposal now that she was married, particularly after discovering she was expecting a boy. Diana’s health, on the other side, has also begun to deteriorate. She hurled herself down the stairs when pregnant due to feelings of inadequacy. The paparazzi had continued to irritate her as well, with photographers also photographing her in a bikini while pregnant. And the pain didn’t stop there.
Unfortunately, what looked to be a fairy tale union turned out to be a tragedy behind the scenes. According to accounts, both the prince and princess had affairs, while Diana struggled with an eating disorder and mental illness episodes. Camilla Parker-Bowles, with whom Charles had rekindled an old affair, has persuaded Charles to abandon her marriage.
They Later Separated
Since separating in 1992, the royal pair divorced in 1996. Worse, Diana had become steadily distant due to the separation, with confidants becoming challenging to retain. A Daily Mail journalist, for example, reported that she had just five close friends at the time of her death. Diana’s romantic life thrived long after her marriage to Charles ended, which was a blessing in disguise.
And it’s been said that the young and lovely princess attracted a slew of suitors. She had affairs with men, including bodyguard Paul Manakee and cavalryman James Hewitt when she was married. According to reports, she was also pressured to end a friendship with a car dealer called James Gilbey after recordings of him labeling her “Squidgy” surfaced. As one would imagine, the press flocked to that specific story.
A Man Named Hasnat Khan
After meeting heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, Diana seemed to have found some solace. Diana preferred to keep her relationship with Hasnat Khan private because she wanted to stay out of the public eye.
She Loved Him
Furthermore, it appears that the princess told her friends that she had never met anyone like Khan. She met the doctor for the first time when she and a friend visited the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.
They Were Almost Married
According to Vanity Fair, Khan and Diana’s relationship had progressed to where marriage was on the cards. Despite Diana’s efforts to persuade Khan to marry in secret, he has turned down the offer.
If anything, he has suggested that the two move to Pakistan, where the press would be less intrusive in their affairs – an idea Diana is said to have seriously considered.
The Romance Faltered
Diana is also said to have revealed her feelings for the surgeon to her friend – and now Pakistan Prime Minister – Imran Khan. On the other hand, the romance began to falter after a while. Despite the risk of disappointment, Diana performed at the ballet and visited Mother Teresa before being featured on Vanity Fair’s cover in July 1997.
A Trip To France
Diana accepted the invitation to spend the summer in St. Tropez, France, extended by billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed. Princes William and Harry were among the royals on tour, and they all stayed in the businessman’s villa. Diana’s romance with Dodi is said to have started there, which is understandable.
Harassed By Photographers
Even after this, photojournalists harassed the princess while she was on vacation, taking pictures of her on a jet ski. At an unplanned press conference, Diana told the assembled reporters that the next thing she did would impress them. Those words, unfortunately, will prove to be darkly prophetic.
They Already Knew Each Other
Before the St. Tropez ride, Diana had previously run with Dodi’s group, so she was already acquainted with him. Dodi was Al-eldest Fayed’s son, and as one of the billionaire’s grandchildren, he had been raised in luxury. Even after this, he had established himself as a film director, with credits including Chariots of Fire and Hook.
Ending Her Affair With Khan
Diana ended her relationship with Khan due to her decision to return to London, as the surgeon would later tell the police. He had a feeling she was dating someone new, possibly someone from the Al-Fayed family’s entourage. Khan didn’t think much of the Egyptian billionaire and told the princess that he didn’t think the relationship would benefit her.
Smitten With Diana
Despite this, Dodi appeared to be completely smitten by Diana, even though he was already married. As if to make his intentions clear, the business mogul’s son allegedly presented the royal with a bouquet of lavish roses, tropical fruit, and a Cartier watch. In any case, as he and the princess began dating, he would eventually see his feelings reciprocated.
The Ring On Her Hand
Regardless, opinions differ on how serious Diana and Dodi’s relationship was in late summer 1997. Dodi had intended to give the princess a ring, according to Vanity Fair. On the other hand, Diana told friend Rosa Monckton that she would wear the ring on her right hand.
According to Monckton, Diana was merely trying to make Khan jealous. On the other hand, Dodi’s father believes the ring was given to commemorate the couple’s engagement.
Enjoying Each Other’s Company
Whatever the case may have been, Diana and Dodi were clearly having a good time together. The couple agreed to go on a cruise together in Sardinia at the end of July, even though the paparazzi were not far away. Photographs of the couple cuddling on Dodi’s yacht were released in August 1997 while Diana was in Bosnia for an anti-landmine event.
In France Once Again
By the end of the month, the couple was back in France, this time in Paris, where they stayed at the Hôtel Ritz. Diana stayed in their suite while Dodi went to a jeweler to get the ring that the princess was expecting, according to a 2019 article in the Daily Mirror. They chose to dine at the posh Benoit restaurant on the evening of August 30, 1997.
Change Of Plans
The couple changed their minds after being followed by up to 30 photographers on their way to dinner. When they returned to the Ritz, they dined at L’Espadon, the legendary hotel’s restaurant. After sitting down, Dodi became concerned that some of the guests were also paparazzi, prompting him and Diana to return to their room.
They Were Pursued
The two planned to spend the night at Dodi’s plush apartment near the Champs-Élysées after finishing dinner. Regardless, they encountered a problem: they had been followed since leaving the hotel the night before. Diana and Dodi were both convinced that photographers were still on the lookout for them. A complex strategy was eventually devised.
Henri Paul, the deputy head of hotel management, was assigned to drive the couple even though it was his night off. Paul, Dodi, Diana, and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones would leave from the hotel’s back, while two decoy vehicles would leave from the front. It was the early morning of August 31, 1997, at this point.
The Photographers Saw Through The Plan
Paul dashed into the darkness as a result, but the photographers were alerted to the situation and pursued the Mercedes. According to an inquest, the paparazzi tried unsuccessfully to “block” Paul to slow him down. Instead, the limo kept going, reaching speeds of around 65 mph before crashing.
Losing Control Of The Car
The Mercedes lost control as it sped through the tunnel beneath Pont d’Alma. Because no photographer was close enough to cause the lapse, the inquest will blame Paul, who had consumed enough alcohol to put him three times over the legal driving limit.
They Only Took Pictures
The car accelerated and slammed into a central reservation pillar. Paul was killed in a horrible car accident when his vehicle slammed into a high-speed wall, both fatal and violent.
They Did Nothing
Even though the horrific wreckage, the paparazzi have done nothing to help the passengers, preferring to photograph the smashed car. Fortunately, someone dialed 911, and firefighters from the nearby Malar station arrived quickly.
Gourmelon Shares What Happened
Gourmelon, the night’s duty officer, was in charge of the rescuers. In 2017, he’d tell The Sun about what he and his team had discovered. “The car was in a mess, and we just dealt with it like any road accident. We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive.” Gourmelon explained.
“For me, this was simply a banal traffic accident – one of many that emergency services have to deal with – and it was the usual causes: speed and a drunk driver,” Gourmelon added. And it was clear right away that Paul couldn’t be helped. To The Sun, Gourmelon said, “When I got to the car, I could see the driver was already dead, and there was nothing that could be done for him.”
Suffering A Heart Attack
On the other hand, Dodi’s situation in the back of the limo was far from ideal. He’d had a heart attack while still inside, and once he’d been lifted out, a paramedic described it as his “moment of death.” Thankfully, Rees-Jones survived the crash despite being severely injured.