In Depth

What Paul Burrell is doing now

Princess Diana’s former butler reappears to discuss Harry and Meghan’s son

Paul Burrell has said that Princess Diana would have been “thrilled to bits” with the birth of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son.

The former royal servant appeared on Good Morning Britain today to discuss the royal baby, who was born on Monday morning.

Burrell said the Princess of Wales would have been “in her element” if she was still alive and that Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland “wouldn’t have got a look in”.

Having served as Diana’s butler for ten years until her death, Burrell has claimed to have been her “rock” and “the only man she ever trusted”, but he remains a controversial figure in the eyes of her family and fans.

As the Daily Mail says, “The life story of Paul Burrell has often seemed more improbable than fiction.”

Since the tragic Paris car crash in 1997, he has written a number of tell-all books and taken part in several reality TV shows, from I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! to Big Brother, but it was the police investigation into theft charges for which many now remember him.

He was accused of stealing 310 items belonging to Diana, which police found in his home during a pre-dawn raid in January 2001. But in an “extraordinary twist”, 11 days into the trial, the Queen revealed that he had previously told her that he had the possessions for safekeeping and the charges were dropped, reported The Guardian.

Later that year, he invited Brookside actor Steve Pinder and showbiz drag act Danny La Rue to cut the ribbon on his new florists in Holt, near Wrexham. He later moved the business to Farndon in Cheshire, where he lived with his wife Maria, also a former royal servant, and their two sons Alexander and Nicholas.

Intimate details about Princess Diana in his 2003 book, A Royal Duty, drew condemnation from Prince Harry and Prince William, who said: “We cannot believe that Paul, who was entrusted with so much, could abuse his position in such a cold and overt betrayal.”

Meanwhile, Diana’s mother, Frances Shand Kydd, apparently declared: “I hope his balls burn.”

In the following years, Burrell spent time in the US, holding book signings and tea parties where he discussed his relationship with the royals. He then returned to the UK and divorced his wife in 2016 – and, in 2017, married his long-term partner Graham Cooper.

His latest plan is to retire from floristry and go around the globe with Cooper.

“My bucket list is world travel — the two of us — and I want to take him to places I’ve been with the Queen and the Princess and say I remember walking on this spot with the Queen on the Great Wall of China,” he said in February.

Speaking to Cheshire Live, he added: “I’ve done weddings, funerals, every occasion for the families of this village. I will miss that. It really is time for me to think about my life. I’ve never actually put myself first. This time I am.”

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