As a former butler to Princess Diana, Paul Burrell is well aware of the secrets behind closed doors in the Royal Family. After the death of his beloved princess, he gave us some juicy information about Diana and her private life. So, it’s no surprise to anyone that he also knew and revealed a lot about Meghan Markle – including a sad truth about her marriage with Prince Harry.
The former butler has served the royal family for decades. After a trip to Buckingham Palace, he developed a lasting interest in the British monarchy. This led to a prestigious job as a valet to Queen Elizabeth II, so it’s no wonder he has an insider’s knowledge of Britain’s most famous clan, which means he has plenty of secrets to tell.
The princess’ butler
But it was not this aforementioned work that made him famous. He worked as Diana’s butler for a decade, during which time he became very close to her. In fact, Burrell says he was the only person Diana ever really trusted. So he knew what the Duchess thought of Harry and Meghan’s marriage.
Since he stopped working, he became a controversial figure in the public eye, and many people disbelieved his claims. In 2001, his home in Cheshire was ransacked By police after a theft has been reported. It was alleged that Burrell had stolen various items belonging to Diana, or her ex-husband Prince Charles, or her eldest son Prince William. But at the end, an important man came to his rescue.
The trial finally took a sensational turn. The Queen herself spoke in his defence, claiming that she had given her former employee permission to store the 310 items in question. All legal proceedings against Burrell were then dropped.
But it was not the last time Burrell’s behaviour was questioned. A 2008 investigation into Diana’s death revealed that a former member of the Royal Household had secretly copied correspondence between the Princess and others. But Burrell argued that he did so because of the “historical significance” of the papers.
Burrell’s personal life is also the subject of controversy and is also under investigation. In 2016, it was revealed that he and his wife Maria were divorcing after 32 years of marriage. Then, a year later, the ex-butler walked down the aisle for the second time with his partner Graham Cooper. According to an insider, Burrell once confessed to Diana that he was gay. Was this really true?
Burrell said no. Speaking to OK! magazine in 2020, he said. “Let’s be honest: I made her great flower arrangements, picked out her clothes and gave her advice. Everything was obvious, and she was a smart lady”.
Reality TV regular
It would not be a mistake to say that Burrell was seeking the limelight. He wrote several books about his experiences with the royal family. He has also become a regular member on reality TV, appearing on shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Britain’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and has also been a judge on Australian Princess. So the former butler is something of an expert with a real insight of the Royal Family.
Getting the gossip
Burrell became the perfect royal correspondent for the British morning TV show Lorraine. He got the job in the days before Harry and Meghan’s wedding, and his relationship with the groom’s mother is said to have been a factor in him getting this job. We’re betting the producers were hoping for some juicy secrets – which Burrell actually has delivered.
Burrell has not stopped reporting on the couple ever since. In an interview for the 2019 British documentary Kate v Meghan: Princesses at War?, the former royal adviser described the Suits star as a “strong and independent woman”. Yet he had doubts about whether Meghan could be accepted By the family.
“Meghan married into one of the most traditional families: the royal family,” explained Burrell. He then compared her to Princess Diana: “How will she cope? Princess Diana was brought up in a house as big as Buckingham Palace and she was lost too”.
Burrell even said that Meghan would be in trouble if she refuses to respect the royal protocol. He said, “Buckingham Palace is a minefield for anyone who goes in there for the first time. Many people set traps, and this young girl is no exception. Who would want to be part of that family?”
Words of advice
To help Meghan cope with the trials of royalty, Burrell offered some wisdom. He suggested he get to know the most important member of the family: Harry’s grandmother, the Queen. Diana’s alleged confidante also advised Meghan to stay as close as possible to her new husband. She also suggested what Diana herself would say about the Princess.
In the May 2019 edition of Good Morning Britain, the butler was asked what his thoughts were on the birth of Harry and Meghan’s son Archie. When asked how Diana would have welcomed her fourth grandchild, he replied, “She would have been in her element, wouldn’t she? [Meghan’s mother] Doria wouldn’t even be able to see the little one. She would be very excited.”
If that wasn’t enough, in October 2019, Burrell was invited to film Good Morning Britain after the premiere of the British TV series Harry and Meghan: An African Journey. In the documentary, the Duke of Sussex revealed why he feels the need to be so protective of his family: “My mum has definitely taught me a certain set of values that I hold on to, despite the role and the work that it sometimes entails, if you know what I mean”.
Not repeating the past
Harry continued, “Everything [Diana] has been through and what happened to her hurts incredibly every single day. And it’s not that I’m paranoid; it’s just that I don’t want the past to repeat itself. And if anybody else went through this – whether it’s a father, whether it’s a husband, whether it’s anybody – they would probably do exactly what I do.”