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Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 18:32 GMT
Is Paul Burrell right to sell his story?
Paul Burrell, former butler to Princess Diana, has heavily criticised Earl Spencer for his behaviour towards his late sister.

In the third part of his story, published in the Daily Mirror, Mr Burrell said the earl behaved "disrespectfully" at Diana's funeral, by removing the Royal Standard from her coffin and replacing it with the Spencer flag, "depriving" her of her royal status.

In his second interview with the Mirror, Mr Burrell had claimed the family had abandoned Diana during her life, only to claim her when she died.

It followed his claim in Wednesday¿s newspaper that he had a three hour meeting at Buckingham Palace in which she told him: "There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge."

The Mirror paid him £300,000 for the story after he was cleared of three charges of stealing from Diana, Princess of Wales, the Prince of Wales and Prince William.

Is Paul Burrell entitled to sell his story? Or should his disclosures stay in the past? Send us your thoughts on the revelations.

This Talking Point is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

I'm totally fed up with this story and all the wild accusations. A pity Burrell cashed in as he did, but no marks to the newspapers - and the BBC - for the endless coverage of something that is hardly front line news unless the media wants it to be. I'd beg you to leave the Royal Family and Burrell alone.
Robert Leggat, UK

Good Luck to Paul. This case should never have come to court. Jealousy and intrigue by some persons forced this into being. I doubt if Paul would have divulged one iota of his trust had he not been forced to. Some bodies wanted him removed and stirred up this mess.
David, Dyfed

How can one be more disloyal than in this case. It is just shameful. He did it for money and showed that his loyalty was worth £300,000.
Abdullah S. Jafari, Texas, USA

All I will add to the very overdone situation is that Diana in her Panorama interview said that she was not going to go away quietly - she had no idea how prophetic those words were.
Shirley Williams, Canada

I think he has every right to tell his story,as long as it is the truth, and I think he deserves every penny he earns!! He suffered enough.
Michelle, Australia

Funny, I have heard nothing of this on the local news, only Iraq/UN, Moscow theatre, etc. Maybe its not really newsworthy? But the guy does right to get something out of it, after all it was the 'establishment' that brought this into the public domain.
Tom, Expat in Kazkstan

insignificant and boring tosh is occupying the headlines

Really who cares? I can't believe that such insignificant and boring tosh is occupying the headlines on a daily basis ... journalists of the UK - let us have some real news!!
Mark H, UK

In my opinion, all those in the Royal family and those who work for or are related to Royals should be bound to the same secrecy that solicitors are - client confidentiality.
Tasha, UK

All families have their arguments. What he has revealed should have remained private to the Spencer family and should not be headline news for gossip hungry members of the public
Tracey , UK

Paul could have made several times what he was paid if he had told Diana's secrets. He has not betrayed her; everything he has told is either public knowledge or is defending the princess and attacking those who have hurt her. There is no betrayal here.
Anne, USA

His self-proclaimed "loyalty" is a joke. If he was truly loyal he would set the record straight because it is the right thing to do - not because he gets to collect a cool quarter million in fees. I find that about as disloyal as it gets - he sold out the Royals when he took the money.
D J, England

What the butler saw and heard should go with him to the grave

Don Mitchell, Portugal
Breach of trust is the most hurtful of all betrayals. No person should be allowed to profit from such an act. Confidentiality agreements should be life long. What the butler saw and heard should go with him to the grave.
Don Mitchell, Portugal

There are a number of people responsible for bringing this farcical case against one of the few people who genuinely had Diana's best interests at heart. In the absence of an apology from any of them, Paul Burrell is now surely perfectly entitled to "have his say in court" - at the bar of public opinion.
Stephen, UK

Isn't it a shameful small-minded society we have become, when the goings on of an unemployed butler seems to be more important than the fact that the world might be close to World War III.
M.F.Jones, England

A total conspiracy. All very conveniently packaged up and presented to the people. You can bet that conversation never took place. It's an insult to our intelligence.
Linda Barrett, London

Yes, it is important the Burrell sells his story so that we get nearer to the truth. Truth is something that seems taboo in this day and age. It is obvious there is a lot of support for Mr. Burrell, from the Queen and the public. It is the behaviour of certain newspapers intent of destroying his reputation now they do not have his 'exclusive story' that beggars belief.
Rob, London, UK

Has anyone thought that, as he's only asked for a fraction of what he might have secured otherwise for this so-called scoop, he might have had to find some way of settling the legal bills and not to profit from all this. The man kept his confidences before this fiasco happened - he's shown enough honour to last a lifetime. He didn't have any choice, so leave him alone to tell his story.
Gwen Brooker, France

At least he remained discreet up to the point where the truth became less embarrassing than the speculation in the media! You could almost argue he is showing respect by putting the record straight. Almost.
ray, UK

What a sad society we are

Dave, UK
What a sad society we are. The tabloids rake up stories that have no relevance to most of us and some prominent figure, this time the Queen, has to once again endure criticism from mean-minded people whose only aim in life is to torment others. Anybody who accepts a penny from a newspaper to tell a story is beneath contempt. Tabloid papers fuel these frenzies around issues which are none of our damned business and demonstrate the nastiness in our society. How about targeting tabloid editors? They might then lose their appetite for torturing others.
Dave, UK

I don't see how his vow to never reveal secrets sits with his talking to the press about anything and everything now. It sounds as though he thought he meant more to the Princess than he really did and simply can't accept the fact that she saw him as just another one of her staff.
D Mc, UK

The only reason Paul Burrell was able to sell his story, was that people want to read it. Would the Daily Mirror have paid £300,000 if they thought the public would not read what he had to say?
Michael Barnes, England

Paul Burrell could quite easily have lived off earnings from after-dinner speeches, he has no need to sell his story simply to pay for his legal costs. He happily reveals sordid details about Diana to the press regarding her private live after the divorce whilst claiming that he will never betray the late Princess' memory. I would call him less of a 'rock' and more of a 'sponge'.
Sam, UK

It would seem that Mr Burrell has acted within the remit of the role with the full backing of the royal establishment. What is more interesting however, is the Queen making cryptic references about shadowy powers that act at the highest level without the general public's (or indeed employees' of the crown) knowledge. Does she mean security services, establishment stalwarts or people with interests in selling more papers than anyone else? Either way this is indeed a historic statement by our head of state.
Julian, UK

I believe Paul will honour his agreement

Sage, UK
Paul, like other members of the household staff will have been made to sign the official secrets act. This forbids them from revealing any 'personal' information about their time with the Royal Family. I doubt that anything will be revealed that isn't already known about, and I believe Paul will honour his agreement.
Sage, UK

I'm disappointed. I had hoped that he would be someone who would not sell his story.
Martin, UK

He has the bailiffs coming to repossess his house and everything else. Of course he should sell his story; he has to put his own family first this time. His years of loyalty nearly got him a prison sentence!
Lin, UK

I suppose it depends upon exactly what he says. But I would like to pose the questions "Are the media right in offering outrageous sums of money for his story?" and "Are we all right in wanting to read the secrets?"
Brian, England

Paul Burrell's lawyer said on BBC World news that his client had a very bad memory. Obviously the £300,000 has managed to jog it?
Neal, UK

Burrell had to sell his story because the legal system is a shambles

Alice Lane, UK
Paul Burrell - who is deeply in debt because of this case - has had to sell his story because the legal system, which should be dedicated to finding out the truth, is a shambles. I think Mr Burrell has done the only thing he could in the circumstances, but he will certainly live to regret it.
Alice Lane, UK

Paul Burrell was accused and made to stand trial not just in court, but also by the general public, through the media. We are all happy to eagerly follow it here ourselves, so we should not criticise when Paul Burrell wishes to use the same route to tell his story
Lee, England

Paul Burrell will no doubt spend the rest of his life profiting from his royal connections. He should have held his head high and walked away quietly. We should all be ashamed for having so much interest in such a trivial matter.
Linda, Scotland

It's funny how Mr Burrell's much heralded discretion with regard to private discussions with the Queen suddenly disappears when six figure sums of money are bandied around.
Mike, UK

As the "great British public" we always assume that we have the right to know everything - we don't. A lot of what Paul Burrell is saying is private and confidential and should not have been sold to a tabloid. I don't know anyone who would want their private lives printed for everyone to see. Surely Diana's family deserve the same?
Stephanie, England

We clearly now need an inquest into the death of Diana

Martin Jones, UK
We clearly now need an inquest into the death of Diana. If the Queen felt that "forces" could be threatening the life of Burrell, surely those forces could also be involved in the death of a woman who was apparently hell-bent on destroying the heir to the throne - a man to whom those in the security services have sworn loyalty.
Martin Jones, UK

Of course he should cash in on it... the story is going to be published anyway, and as everyone else connected with Diana has cashed in on her why shouldn't her paid employee get some recompense for his story?
Colm McKenna, UK

If he hasn't signed any sort of "secrets act" then in a way he can do as he chooses, especially if he feels let down and victimised by certain sections. What is disappointing is that he has gone back on his own word, which in many ways should be more binding to someone than any legal document.
Russ, UK

I always find the concept of selling one's story a little suspicious. If Paul Burrell takes this money is he not profiting from the very thing he claims he was trying to protect in the first place?
Nick, UK

Yes I do think Paul was right in selling his story and from what I've read so far, I don't think he has divulged anything that wasn't already know about the late Princess. The man has gone through hell these last couple of years, trying to protect Diana and the Royal Family at great expense to himself and his family. He also had to give up a lucrative living with his book/lecture tours/magazine articles etc. I am sure that whatever is printed will not harm the Royal Family in any way - and l am sure Princes William and Harry will understand why Paul has told his side of the story.
Colin Whitbread, United Kingdom

He is simply trying to set the record straight

Yvonne Kirchgaesser, Germany/UK
I don't think Paul Burrell is selling his story, he is simply trying to set the record straight and I think he has a right to this. The money is compensation for what he has been subjected to. If the Queen thought it was important enough to talk to him thoroughly about the aspects and implications of his service and the relationship with her late daughter in law then I think we have to accept that this was an important meeting. I have no doubt that the Queen and possibly Paul Burrell hoped that it might not be necessary to mention the fact that they had had such a long and obviously intimate discussion about Diana.
Yvonne Kirchgaesser, Germany/UK

He has maintained that he would never be disloyal to the Princess' confidence. He should have stayed true to his word, even if he didn't accept the most fruitful monetary offer for his story. Mr Burrell - I'm disappointed in you!!
Dave Clarke, UK

I thought that employees of the Royal Family were made to take an oath not to disclose what transpires with the royals and if not they should be made to and not to profit from this. My opinion is that we are now a laughing stock to the rest of the world when it comes to everyday occurrences that we hear and read in the newspapers.
Sheila Edan, England

Yes, we all have the right to free speech. But who is actually interested? Evidently the tabloids are.
David, UK

He's been through enough

Saffron, UK
Good luck to the guy. Look where all his years of loyalty to the Crown got him. Months and months of stress for him and his family. The Spencers have also come out of this episode appallingly, and I think it's time he looked after number one. He's been through enough and deserves every penny, however much he's been paid by the Mirror!
Saffron, UK

First, I think we should wait and see what exactly he has said before we all pass judgement on our suppositions of his comments. I don't think even people who know him have the right to comment on what they think he may or may not have said.
Craig Murphy, England

He has been treated poorly from the start and maybe his story will put things in proper perspective.
David Graham, Britain

We heard all about how discreet Mr Burrell was, but he has not been slow in cashing in and selling his story to the Mirror newspaper.
Michael Davis, UK

This should never have gone to trial

June Simpson, UK/USA
Is this not a case of the Queen being "damned if she did and damned if she didn't". Once the trial had begun, the Queen would have been criticised for coming forward and "interfering" with the course of justice. This should never have gone to trial. I don't consider myself to be a Royalist, but I do think the Queen has served our nation well during the past 50 years.
June Simpson, UK/USA

The only thing "forgotten" in this sorry episode is the right of British citizens to hear the truth.
Brian Ferrier, Scotland

I am forced to conclude that there is more going on here than meets the eye. The Prime Minister has suggested that the uniqueness of this case means that it has no long term implications but I disagree. If the course of justice can be "adjusted" by the words or the silence of a monarch on this occasion then it can happen again. I do not believe that our legal system should be in any way influenced by the family requirements (real or imagined) of some privileged figureheads.
Jon Leff, UK

Why are people blaming the Queen? Surely it is the police officers involved who are to blame for not pursuing this evidence.
Tom Curry, England

I agree 100 percent with MP Dennis Skinner. Why should there be one law for some and one for another? Neither money or position should make any difference, we should all have to account for our deeds.
June Potts, Scotland UK

The Queen did not fail us, yet we continue to fail her by doubting her

Andrew, UK
She is our Queen. We have a duty to support her as she has a duty to serve us. She did not fail us, yet we continue to fail her by doubting her. She did the right thing and risked her reputation because she wanted justice to be served.
Andrew, UK

If Paul Burrell had the long meeting with the Queen, why did his defence team not ask him what was said during this meeting? If they had done so, this case would never have come to court, surely.
David Hills, UK

I do not think it is a question of who should pay but one of why trials cost so much. It is clear that for such a figure of £1.5m to have been accrued after such a short trial (even allowing for the false start) there are people making obscene amounts of money from the legal system. It is time that the fees received by people in the legal profession were reviewed and payments set at a far more realistic level.
Martin Pugh, UK

I thought that one of the key points of the Burrell trial was that he was alleged to have sold on items of Diana's possessions for personal gain. This certainly seems to have been how the police presented the case to the Princes. With this in mind, how could the Queen have foreseen that her audience with Paul Burrell would prove the crucial piece of evidence? The Queen has had a fantastic Jubilee year. It would be a shame if media hysteria and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories were allowed to cast any shadow over this achievement.
Philippa, UK

The Royal Family were supportive of Paul Burrell before the case was seized upon by the CPS. I think Dennis Skinner is allowing his prejudice to run away with him. There is no reason why the Queen should have to pay anything for this trial.
Janet Stiles, England

The Queen speaks and the law falls silent. This is the issue. Time for a new constitution please.
Phil Smith, UK

I knew Paul when we worked together at Buckingham Palace and I was pleased to hear that the case fell through. He was always completely discreet and reliable I was certain that he had done nothing wrong and was amazed that the case was even sent to court. Good luck Paul and Maria and hopefully you can put this behind you now.
Lisa, UK

The sooner we become citizens, the better

Anne Keane
This whole episode highlights the nonsense of the Queen's position. That someone should be somehow above the law of the land, because of an accident of birth, is not acceptable. The sooner we stop being subjects and become citizens, the better. It's time we grew up.
Anne Keane

This was an unimportant case which should never have gone to trial. The only disappointed people are the tabloid media, who have lost a trial by the press victim.
Charles, UK

Having basked in the glory of the Jubilee, I feel the Royal Family have been damaged beyond repair. This farce of a trial should never have happened and the only one to come out of this with any dignity is Paul Burrell. I wish him and his family well and admire him for his courage. The Royal Family do not deserve such a dedicated servant.
Linda O'Brien, UK

I think the Queen deserves a medal herself with putting up with the constant whining from the British public about the monarch. After 50 years of hard work and being nearly 80 years old, you would think they would just let her be.
Tom, USA

This is a case which makes me ashamed to say I work in the legal profession

Bridget Simmonds, England
This is a case which makes me ashamed to say I work in the legal profession. If the police and the CPS had done their jobs properly, they should have contacted the Queen's secretary last year to ascertain what was said in the conversation. It was clear the police and the CPS could not make a case for theft and were merely clutching at straws. This case also does not show Diana's own family in a very good light either.
Bridget Simmonds, England

Even with the perfect clarity of hindsight there is little substance to republicans' whingeing. Paul Burrell himself has said that he didn't realise that his conversation with the Queen could clear him of the charges, so why should the Queen have realised its significance? She is neither a lawyer nor, I suspect, did she have any special knowledge of the case.
James Harvard, United Kingdom

And on what date did this meeting between the Queen and Mr Burrell take place?
Adrian Bailey, Birmingham, UK

The Queen has behaved totally irresponsibly here, and has provided a far better argument for reforming or abolishing the monarchy than most republicans ever could. I hope she will at least refund the British taxpayer all the money she has so negligently wasted.
Adam, UK

It will be interesting to see how the ownership of these effects is resolved

Anonymous, UK
We have heard so much about how dutiful this man was. Surely his duty was to assist the executors in creating a full inventory and ensuring that they had access to and control of everything. Beyond that he could have asked for a keepsake. He would probably been given one. It will be interesting to see how the ownership of these effects is resolved since they are still being held by the police.
Anonymous, UK

Aren't Paul Burrell and his Defence team the ones to blame for this fiasco? Why did Mr Burrell not make it very clear to his solicitors that he had advised the Queen of his actions and included this in his witness statement? If he did so, it is the legal teams on both sides that are to blame for the enormous expense incurred in taking this to trial and not the Queen.
Mark Jackson, UK

Did the Queen give her evidence under oath?
Alan, UK

There are far more important things for MPs to sort out, rather than go on about this case, or even changing their working hours or improving their pensions! When will they start to deal with the real issues that effect ordinary people such as transport? I am far more worried about the £400m wasted on legal fees on the Tube PPP than this.
Rob Young, UK

It seems unfair that the Queen is being criticised over her late disclosure of the details of her meeting five years ago with Paul Burrell. A vital piece of information revealed at the trial was that the Royal Family had been misled (and were still being misled) into believing that the police possessed evidence that Paul Burrell was selling possessions of the late Princess of Wales. Selling items is very different from keeping them in safe-keeping. When it emerged at the trial that no such evidence existed the Queen acted with commendable speed and should be congratulated rather that criticised.
Elizabeth Miller, England

I think the most interesting question is, who started this particular "hare" running and why?
John, UK

The fact that in this case the person who came forward is the Queen is of no consequence.

Robert A. Abrams, USA
As a former prosecutor, I could not imagine continuing the trial of a theft case if a person with authority over the stolen property came forward and stated that the defendant had consent to have that property. The fact that in this case the person who came forward is the Queen is of no consequence. The case would not go forward under any circumstance.
Robert A. Abrams, USA

Mr Abrams may know something about US law, but not I fear about that in the UK. Under our outdated constitution the prosecution is in the Crown's name - none other than the Queen herself. If this case has done one good thing it is to bring out into the open the outdated system whereby the Queen can sit completely outside the law of the land.
Ross, Scotland

I need to set Ross from Scotland straight:
The person of the monarch can be distinguished from the office of the monarchy quite easily. Hence, the Queen pays income tax to the Crown. Nobody mentioned a constitutional anomaly when that happened. This case was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, who work for the office of the Crown, or the monarch, not for the Queen.
Neil Jarrett, UK

How could anyone forget a three-hour conversation of this much relevance to the trial? Oh please.
Wilkinson, UK

Before the conspiracy theorists get carried away, how many 75-year-olds remember conversations they had over five years ago? I believe the Queen has met a number of people since then!
Nick Williams, UK

Mr Nick Williams states that conspiracy theorists should ask themselves how many 70-odd-year-olds would remember a conversation from five years ago. Oh please! This was not just a chat about the weather. This was the whereabouts of articles belonging to her late daughter-in-law, given to Diana by the Queen's son and grandson. Not your everyday conversation. But I guess we will never know the real story.
Ian, UK

The Paul Burrell case epitomises all that is wrong with British public life. The privilege afforded the royals, the conspiratorial nature of the establishment, the media and public obsession with scandal and sensation. What ordinary member of the public would have had a tenth of the police and CPS resources devoted to an alleged theft. The police, legal system, public and media interest was totally out of proportion.
Terence Denning Lockyer, UK

The story of Paul Burrell made number one headline in BBC and CNN. Then came the less important news of earthquake in Italy and shooting in Ramallah etc.
Chandtran Sukumaran,

You couldn't write a novel with a plot of this intrigue

Andrew Turner, UK
The Royal Family soap opera continues..! You couldn't write a novel with a plot of this intrigue.
Andrew Turner, UK

My best wishes to Paul Burrell. Heads should roll at the police and CPS for them not looking at the evidence in detail and investigating every possible corner. It's all about results these days, not about proper police work!
Steve Knight, Wales

Two years of a man's life taken away because of a medieval system. The people at 'the top' need bringing down a few notches.
John Sheldon, UK

Why on earth did it ever come to court? Someone must have been "pushing" very hard! And who has to pay the defence costs?
Ann, Spain

Good luck to a very brave man!

Vernon Vincent, Tenerife
It's wonderful to see an innocent and honest man get justice but it's despicable to see the ineptitude of the national law enforcement agencies which so nearly wrecked the lives of a good man and his family. Good luck to a very brave man!
Vernon Vincent, Tenerife

Why does the Queen's knowledge of Paul Burrell holding items, of itself, mean that no crime has been committed? The Queen is not Diana's next of kin or executor of her will, so why does her knowledge of Paul Burrell's actions make a difference one way or the other?
Alex, UK

Where was the Queen during the past two years? Were we about to hear some embarrassing testimony about the Royals? Also, where was Tony Blair who, advises the Queen daily?
Ben, USA

What a loyal, honourable and splendid fellow. Thank God, common sense and justice prevailed in the end, better late than never.
David Ong, UK

Their negligent legal advisors should be required to pay back fee costs

Peter Riley, England
Like most intelligent people, I don't care about the antics of the Royal Family or their hired help. However I do believe that the public servants responsible for this appalling waste of money should be identified and dismissed from their posts. Their negligent legal advisors should be required to pay back fee costs or excluded from further work for the department for two years.
Peter Riley, England

Since it seems Paul Burrell was wrongly accused, who pays for his defence? It would be a travesty of justice if he has to pay his own legal fees. The police and the prosecution should pay.
Christopher, Canada

Paul Burrell has been proven to be thoroughly honest and totally discreet. How can he be recompensed for all the trauma he has gone through? Who is going to pay his defence costs? It shouldn't be him. His reward should be to be given an enhanced job in the Royal Family, possibly connected to Prince William as a reward for his tested loyalty.
Peter Cowlishaw, Scotland

As a recently retired Criminal Justice Unit (CJU) detective sergeant, I find it incredible that this case got past the relevant CJU quality controller. My job was to read every case submitted on my division, identify loop holes, then liaise with the officer in the case, (OIC), and the CPS lawyer to see, if necessary, what further evidence was required to prevent a judge ordered acquittal and make the case more likely to succeed than fail. So what went wrong here?
David Jenkinson, Scotland

What a complete waste of taxpayers' money

Beth Dalgleish, England
What a complete waste of taxpayers' money, can I have a refund?! Best wishes to him and I hope he gets over the tremendous pressure he has been put under.
Beth Dalgleish, England

Once again we see people complaining 'because taxpayers' money has been wasted'. Ironically, they would also be the first to complain if someone were put straight in jail, without ever going to court. Justice is as much about convicting criminals as it is about finding them innocent, and taxpayers' money has to pay for both!
Nick, England

Mr Burrell has acted with the utmost discretion to all of the Royal Family and I am so pleased that this farcical trial has been stopped. What on earth were the police doing not following up statements?
Laura Bloomfield, UK

Makes you wonder what Princes William and Harry make of it all

Richard, UK
Does any of this really matter? It just shows the UK's obsession with celebrity and sparkle. Still, sells copies of gossip magazines I suppose. Makes you wonder what Princes William and Harry make of it all.
Richard, UK

Yes, another waste of taxpayers' money. The only people who win in the end are the barristers and lawyers in this case.
Susan Levy, United Kingdom

This time the butler didn't do it!
Tom Nicholson, England

I am so happy that this ordeal is over for Mr Burrell. I had the opportunity to meet him three years ago when he was promoting his book. The way he talked about Princess Diana I knew there was no way he could have betrayed her. God bless you and your family, Mr Burrell.
Susan Brummett, USA

Good luck to Paul. Can we now let Diana rest in peace please!
Ken Elmes, UK

It's time for a complete overhaul of the British judicial service

Fred, UK
So now this trial has collapsed I wonder where the public prosecution will waste the next few million. It's time for a complete overhaul of the British judicial service.
Fred, UK

Good luck to Mr Burrell, I trust he can put all this behind him and get on with his life. I admire his discretion, dignity, professionalism and loyalty. He did nothing to deserve such persecution.
Kevin Plumridge, England

Now for sure, Mr Burrell's book will be the greatest bestseller of the decade. We can now hear the truth about the Princess from someone who really knows and loves her.
Folake Ekundayo, UK

I am so happy that this ordeal is over for Mr Burrell. I had the opportunity to meet Mr Burrell three years ago when he was promoting his book. The way he talked about Princess Diana I knew there was no way he could have betrayed her. Finally someone in her life that has not let her down in any way.
Susan Brummett, USA

I am thrilled that Mr Burrell was acquitted. I believe that he was loyal to Diana and he did not steal from her. He had many opportunities to sell his Diana experiences to the press which he did not do.
Angela, USA

He has acted with the utmost dignity, discretion and professionalism

Chris Townsend, Herts, UK
Not only did Paul Burrell act in good faith to protect Diana's memory, but he withheld evidence that could have helped his case rather than betray a private conversation with the Queen. He has acted with the utmost dignity, discretion and professionalism throughout and in return our criminal justice system sought to crush him. Mr Burrell deserves our admiration and respect. He never did anything to deserve this persecution.
Chris Townsend, Herts, UK

Congratulations to Paul Burrell. It is good to see a man of noted trustworthiness and dignity prevail. It proves that if you stand your ground steadfastly, and resist the urge to blab to the press, the innocent can survive the glare of publicity despite the speculative reporting of the tabloids.
John, UK/USA

There is a serious problem with the whole prosecution system in England

Alan Gardiner, England
The poor performance of the police and prosecutors is familiar to me and also my wife. We have both been jurors in crown court cases where the prosecution should not have been brought due to conflicting evidence and absence of evidence. It seems to me that there is a serious problem with the whole prosecution system in England.
Alan Gardiner, England

The meeting between the Queen and Burrell was apparently in the defence statement - why was this not checked by the prosecution - the police and the CPS?
John, UK

Mr Burrell has proven once and for all that he is Diana's rock. His protection of the Princess continues and remains admirable. I just wish that everyone else in the world can respect the Princess as he has. We all need loyal friends like Mr Burrell. Thank you, Your Majesty for saving this man from the indignity that others wanted.
Julie Ann Gergotz, USA

Washing Diana's dirty linen in public was extremely embarrassing for all concerned

John Smith, UK
Firstly, washing Diana's dirty linen in public was extremely embarrassing for all concerned. Secondly, Paul Burrell's testimony was going to be "long, detailed and very interesting" - legal speak for outrageously sensational.
John Smith, UK

Good man! I think it was right for the police to pursue but I am very pleased that this is the result.
Simon, UK

Congratulations to Paul Burrell! I am delighted that this farce of a trial has collapsed, as it was apparent from the outset that this man does not have a criminal bone in his body. He deserves respect for maintaining his loyalty and discretion in the face of enormous pressure.
Marie, England

Could this not have been sorted out long before it hit the courts?

Christine, UK
This is unbelievable. Could this not have been sorted out long before it hit the courts?
Christine, UK

I am absolutely appalled by the news time devoted to this case. This was never a headline making story, but yet again, the cult of celebrity overrides REAL NEWS. There are much more important stories, nationally and internationally, that need reporting on prime time news.
Nigel Macdonald, UK

Loyalty of the highest order by all parties. Mr Burrell risks a prison sentence rather than disclose the contents of a private conversation with HM the Queen. Equally Her Majesty and HRH the Prince of Wales take steps to ensure justice is done and that one of their staff is not left to fend for himself.
John Henderson, UK

Interesting that the legal profession does not understand loyalty.
Arthur Lowe, Melbourne Australia

Let us hope Mr Burrell will not sell his story to the press

Kathy UK
Paul Burrell has shown himself to be exactly what he claimed, a loyal friend to the Princess of Wales. For the sake of her sons and her memory, I hope the issue is now closed. Let us hope Mr Burrell will maintain his loyalty and not sell his story to the press, and the royal family will have the good grace to reward that discretion.
Kathy, UK

Someone clearly didn't want any more dirty washing out in public. In Henry VIII's time I think a few people might of lost their heads over this!
Jim, UK

If the Queen knew, why didn't someone just say this at the outset? Then we wouldn't have had to be subjected to this complete farce of a trial.
Edward Neale, UK

I'm delighted that events have turned out as they have, and admire Paul Burrell for his discretion in refraining from disclosing the detail of his private conversation with the Queen. Her Majesty deserves credit for preventing a potential miscarriage of justice from occurring.
John Fox, West Yorkshire

What a glorious irony - the man who was and remains 100% loyal to the Princess of Wales is the one who ends up in the dock of the Old Bailey. If it were not so tragic for this man it would be laughable.
Adrian M Lee, UK

This immensely increases my respect for the Queen. She could have let him go to jail and nobody would have been the wiser.
Alex, UK

'Man didn't commit crime', what a headline. The whole thing is just more irrelevant drivel occupying the empty heads of our celebrity obsessed journos,
John Knight, UK

Without knowing all the facts, it looks as though a bundle of public money would have been saved had the prosecution approached the case with more care and balance.
David Love, UK

We need trials televised like in the USA - none of this keeping evidence secret. The truth will out - but probably in a book in 10 years time.
Mike, UK

The whole thing has been pointless and tedious to the extreme.

Joanna, England
If this trial had been televised as Mike suggests, it would further encumber a saturated media circus. The whole thing has been pointless and tedious to the extreme. Diana has been dead for over five years now and it is time that stories about her stopped filling up pages and screens, while far more pressing matters such as all out war with Iraq, the impending firemen's strike and the loss of free university education for all are accorded second place.
Joanna, England

Anyone with any sense could see that if the items had been "stolen", they would have been sold for gain, which was not the case. Paul Burrell has never sought to profit from his association with Diana.
Jnny Lane, UK

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01 Nov 02 | UK
04 Nov 02 | UK
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