I'm not sorry for Diana revelations, Burrell tells princes

Former royal butler Paul Burrell remained defiant today, despite a scathing attack by Princes William and Harry for the “cold and overt betrayal” of their late mother.

Former royal butler Paul Burrell remained defiant today, despite a scathing attack by Princes William and Harry for the “cold and overt betrayal” of their late mother.

Diana, Princess of Wales, would have been mortified at his revelations this week if she were still alive, the brothers said.

But Mr Burrell refused to apologise for his new book and said he was “saddened” by the Princes’ statement.

He said his book, A Royal Duty, was “nothing more than a tribute” to Diana and he was “extremely proud” of it.

He also took a swipe at the Royal Family, saying no-one contacted him or said sorry following the collapse of his Old Bailey trial for theft last year.

Mr Burrell, who worked closely with the Princess and claimed she called him her “rock”, has released a series of extracts from the book in the Daily Mirror.

He fuelled conspiracy theories surrounding her death by writing that Diana feared for her life and that she had written of a plot to tamper with the brakes of her car.

William, speaking on behalf of 19-year-old Harry who is in Australia during his gap year, described their deep pain at the stories and appealed to Mr Burrell to end his revelations.

They would be prepared to meet the ex-royal servant to discuss the matter, Clarence House said.

In a statement released yesterday, unprecedented for its strength of feeling, 21-year-old university student William said: “We cannot believe that Paul, who was entrusted with so much, could abuse his position in such a cold and overt betrayal.

“It is not only deeply painful for the two of us but also for everyone else affected and it would mortify our mother if she were alive today and, if we might say so, we feel we are more able to speak for our mother than Paul.

“We ask Paul please to bring these revelations to an end.”

But in a statement issued through his publisher Penguin, Mr Burrell said: “I am saddened at the statement issued on behalf of Prince William and Prince Harry.

“Saddened because I know that this book is nothing more than a tribute to their mother.

“I am convinced that when the Princes, and everyone else, reads this book in its entirety they will think differently.

“My only intention in writing this book was to defend the Princess and stand in her corner.”

He said he had received calls of support from some of Diana’s closest friends and added: “I would also like to point out that, following the collapse of my trial at the Old Bailey last year, no-one from the Royal Family contacted me or said sorry for the unnecessary ordeal myself, my wife and my sons were put through.

“Neither do I say sorry for writing this book, of which I am extremely proud and I am convinced the Princess would be proud of too.

“I have told the truth where the British public should know the truth.”

When asked whether he would be prepared to meet the young Princes, Mr Burrell later said: “That is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

In other extracts from the book, Mr Burrell claimed the Duke of Edinburgh wrote to Diana telling her he and the Queen “disapproved” of the Prince of Wales’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Much of the book appears to be based on letters written and received by Diana, as well as Mr Burrell’s experiences and observations as the Princess’s butler and confidante.

Mr Burrell also said that Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, wrote to his sister expressing concern for her mental health.

The Earl said he was angry the private correspondence was published, adding also that he had never seen anything to suggest the crash in which his sister died was anything but an accident.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said the statement was aimed at drawing the line under Mr Burrell’s allegations.

“It’s telling Paul Burrell that they’ve had enough,” she said.

In September 2000, William spoke out about a controversial book written by Diana’s former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, which also upset the Princes.

Mr Burrell was cleared last year of stealing hundreds of items from the late Princess’s estate when his Old Bailey trial collapsed dramatically, following an intervention by the Queen.

It is believed lawyers acting for the Royal Family are unlikely to take action against Mr Burrell over the controversial book.

It is understood Mr Burrell and his publishers may have slipped through a legal loophole to escape censure.

The reports that Diana feared a plot to cause a car crash have led to claims that the French police are considering reopening the investigation into the 1997 crash in Paris, which killed her and boyfriend Dodi Fayed.

Dodi’s father, Mohamed al Fayed, has called for an independent public inquiry into the deaths.

A French inquiry in 1999 blamed the chauffeur Henri Paul, saying he had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs, and was driving too fast.

Publishers Penguin insisted Mr Burrell’s book would still be released on Monday as planned.

In today’s edition of the Daily Mirror, extracts from Mr Burrell’s book describe the Princess weeping as she watched a video of one of her favourite “weepies”, Brief Encounter.

After the royal couple split, Mr Burrell writes that his wife Maria was ostracised while living at Highgrove because of her husband’s decision to work for Diana.

He says: “It was awkward for Maria living on the Highgrove estate. She and the boys were told they were not allowed to go to the main house any more.

“Anyone would have thought our cottage housed the plague because we were treated like outcasts.”

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