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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 23:57 GMT
Timeline: Royal inquiry
Paul Burrell
Mr Burrell was acquitted of all charges
Ahead of the publication of an internal inquiry into issues arising out of the collapsed trials of two royal butlers, BBC News Online looks at events leading up to allegations of misconduct within the Prince of Wales's household.


Palace worker George Smith alleges he was raped by another male member of staff in 1989.

St James's Palace investigates but no charges are brought.


31 August - Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in Paris car crash.

November - The Queen awards Mr Burrell the Royal Victorian Medal for his service to the royal family and he is appointed a member of a committee to decide on a memorial to Diana.


19 December - Mr Burrell quits the Memorial Fund.


18 January - Mr Burrell is accused of stealing hundreds of items from Diana, Prince of Wales and Prince William.

24 March - The Prince of Wales reportedly tells friends he does not want Mr Burrell prosecuted, fearing his sons Princes William and Harry will be drawn into the investigation.

16 August - Mr Burrell is charged with stealing items belonging to Diana, Prince William and the Prince of Wales.

24 October - Mr Burrell's brother Graham is arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen goods.

But the following August he is told he will not be charged.

28 November - Mr Burrell is committed to stand trial.


October - Mr Burrell denies charges of theft as his trial begins at the Old Bailey.

16 October - The trial is stopped and jury discharged for legal reasons.

17 October - Second trial begins.

I am thrilled
Paul Burrell on his acquittal

29 October - The trial is halted and jury sent home.

1 November - The trial collapses with Mr Burrell acquitted on all charges, when the Old Bailey learns he told the Queen five years ago he had taken some of the princess's property for "safekeeping".

12 November - Palace announces an internal review of procedures and standards in the prince's household led by Sir Michael Peat.

Inquiry to focus on the conduct of Charles's household over the collapse of the Burrell trial, how allegations of male rape by a former royal servant were dealt with by the palace and the selling of unwanted royal gifts.

Allegations of a "whitewash" are made because Sir Michael is the prince's private secretary and most senior aide.

4 November - Mr Burrell sells his story to the Daily Mirror.

Rape allegation

10 November - George Smith, the former valet, who claimed he was raped by a male, accuses Prince Charles of covering up the incident as he waives his anonymity to speak to the Mail on Sunday.

The man accused of raping Mr Smith labels the allegations "wholly untrue".

St James's Palace
The case is not being reinvestigated on the basis of a newspaper report
Scotland Yard

Mr Smith tells the paper he told the princess in 1996 about the alleged rape and she recorded his accusation.

November - Buckingham Palace confirms a new allegation of male rape, unconnected to Mr Smith's, within the royal household was investigated in 2001.

A junior member of the Buckingham Palace staff complained to the police about an attack by a fellow worker.

But he later decided not to proceed with the complaint, the palace said.

3 December - Three theft charges dropped against royal butler Harold Brown.

Metropolitan Police announces inquiry into investigation of two cases.

December - Findings of inquiry by Sir Michael Peat originally due to be published.


13 March - Sir Michael Peat announces results of his inquiry.


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