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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 10:30 GMT
Is Paul Burrell right to publish?
The controversial new book about Diana, Princess of Wales, written by the former Royal butler, Paul Burrell, has gone on sale.

He told the BBC's Real Story, broadcast on Monday, that it would never have been published if he had received a telephone call from the Royal Family when his theft trial collapsed last year.

Mr Burrell has called it "a wonderful, warm portrait." He describes himself as a fervent supporter of the Monarchy and says he cared deeply for the Princess Diana and wants to tell the truth.

But Princes William and Harry have accused Mr Burrell of betrayal.

But what do you think? Should Paul Burrell have published the book?


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

Your reaction:

Paul Burrell claimed his motives for writing the book were that he "cared deeply for the Princess" and that he "wants to tell the truth". If his claims are to be believed, he should donate all the profits to the charities that were so important to her.
JMc,UK

Demand for this book proves he has made the right decision
Tony Jones, England

I always admired Princess Diana. I do not plan on buying the book. Whatever the reason why Paul Burrell wrote this book - whether it was for retaliation or to honour her - he should have kept it to himself. Those who are upset as I am about this book, need to stick to their instincts, and not buy it. We can support Diana by standing firm.
Debbie ,US

I am staggered he was not subject to a non-disclosure agreement that should have survived the Princess' untimely death. A lesson to all who might employ such people perhaps. Frankly, I think publication is a major breach of trust and disgraceful.
Andrew Jago, Netherlands

It is time it all came out
Wayne Brailsford, England
I think Paul Burrell is right to have his say. The royals have too much to hide about what has happen in the past. It is time it all came out.
Wayne Brailsford, England

Burrell has proven himself to be as disturbed and desperate for publicity as his late employer. Why give this sad little man time to fill the airwaves with his celebrity tittle-tattle which surely is all Royal stories are.
Katnryn, England

If publishing this will in any way hasten the end of the monarchy, he is right to publish. If it won't, will he and the rest of them all just go away and shut up?
Greg, UK

Paul Burrell has behaved pretty much as did James Hewitt. What has happened to integrity? He has let Diana and all those who believed in his honesty and integrity down.
Marilyn Chapman, UK

People are still publishing material on Henry VIII. Diana has only been dead five years and you think people will forget her that quickly? Anyone who advocates that Burrell should not have published his book must believe in censorship as they are in effect saying that it is ok to say good things about Diana but not to say anything that may be 'upsetting or nasty'- God forbid! Harry and William- your saving Mr Burrell a fortune in advertising costs, very public spirited of you chaps.
Sanjay Said, Wales

Nothing more than a grubby little money making exercise
Pepe Bubulino, Denmark
No, Mr Burrell should not have published his book on Princess Diana. And let's be clear about these 'noble motives' of 'setting the record straight'. Who does Mr Burrell think he is kidding? This is nothing more than a grubby little money making exercise by a grubby little man. And no amount of 'dressing up' can possibly disguise his real motives!
Greg Stevens,Hungary

Bravo Mr. Burell...Royals make money from the public, so should the public, make some money out of them.
Pepe Bubulino, Denmark

I think that this man is a total disgrace, and for him to say that he is 'honouring' the memory of his late employer is laughable. I will admit that when his trial collapsed, I felt sorry for Paul Burrell, for how he had been treated by the Royal Family and how no-one supported him through that time. But now, as far as I am concerned, he has lowered himself to the same low standards, and has in turn hurt the people he claims to care about most. ie. the two princes. All for a quick buck and to gain himself some publicity.

He claimed he would never reveal the secrets of the Royal Family, and quite frankly, the person whose secrets he is revealing is dead and unable to defend herself or her actions. He is capitalising on the feelings that a nation has for someone who was admired and loved and who died tragically young. And what makes me more angry is that people will buy it.
Lindsay, UK

It is common perception where I live that the Princess was a self seeker who had her own agenda based on a little girls need for revenge and fun. This brought some shame on the Monarchy and country, and whether you are a believer in the status quo, and/or the monarchy, it is obvious that her 'antics' in the spotlight (as opposed to other members of the Royal family through the ages who have been far more discreet in their wonderings) and her disregard for traditional values have rubbed off on a particularly nasty little man. Burrell has every right in a democracy to publish this drivel, however I would have thought even he would have had more common decency.
Rory, Scotland

Former employees should not disclose any information they have been privy to because of their position unless it is necessary for legal reasons.
Personally I would feel it is wrong to profit under such circumstances, but we will never know who is telling the truth in this instance.
Al McGee, Scotland

Yes - it is still a free country. This man was almost jailed by the establishment. Surely he has earned the right to have his say.
Lynne White, England

I hope this book highlights the way the princess was cruelly treated by the royal family
Gary, England
I think Paul Burrell is right to publish the book. When Diana died, the public did not know of her personal life and the way she was treated. I hope this book highlights the way the princess was cruelly treated by the royal family.
Gary, England

There is obviously some bad feeling between Paul Burrell and the royal family. Most fair-minded people would think he's got a legitimate grouse when he says that all he ever wanted was a simple phone call after 21 years of faithful service.
Len Barrett-Coulson, Australia

It doesn't matter who it is about. If you have a position of trust then to reveal anything to anybody is a complete betrayal. Not just because this is the royal family, this is a matter of confidence, trust and dignity. Nobody who does a 'kiss and tell' should have any respect.
Andrew Pritchard, UK

As and ex Butler I can only express my dismay at this total lack of discretion
Frederick De Cosse, UK
As and ex Butler I can only express my dismay at this total lack of discretion. When you are in service you are privy to many issues. At the "end of the day" these issues should be contained under the terms of your employment. This so called confident of the late princess is nothing more then an ex sycophant who is capitalizing on his ex position. As such he has bought dishonour on what has always been a position considered the apex of discretion. I am disgusted, by this so called butler.
Frederick De Cosse, UK

He has the right to publish whatever he wants (if a publisher is ready to pay for it). The princes will suffer? So be it. There are millions and millions of kids who suffer much more day in and day out and no one really cares for them. Just because Diana's kids are "princes" we should not give them preferential treatment. Not in 2003.
Louis, New York, USA

One of the main things that is great and symbolic of this country is the royal family. How many countries have a monarchy with such a rich history. People that are trying to tarnish that should stop before our country completely goes to the dogs. Paul Burrell as a trusted servant of royalty should have kept quiet about things personal.
Shana, England

If Mr Burrell is indeed a "fervent supporter of the Monarchy" than he should respect the wishes of the Princes William and Harry. They are the Royal Family. It is that simple.
Waldemar, Australia

I think that he should stop his declarations and that he shouldn't have written that book. He needs to apologize to the Royal family and especially to Prince William and Prince Harry.
Maria Gracia, Peru

Mr. Burrell was forced to pay exorbitant legal fees to defend himself against spurious theft charges, which were dropped at the last minute - is it surprising that needs cash? He was employed by Princess Diana after her divorce, not by the Royal Family. Would Princess Diana have disapproved of the book? I think the answer is no. The princes are grown men and well able to handle this now; they have their mother's toughness and intelligence.
Alan, USA

What seems clear as that Burrell thought he deserved a lot more!
Mark, England
What seems clear as that Burrell thought he deserved a lot more! However, he was the butler- nothing more, nothing less. He should respect the responsibility that goes with the privilege and maintain silence....but that wouldn't earn him the money and celeb status he thinks he has a right to.
Mark, England

He can publish; I don't have to buy the book.
Tony, Welling, Kent

Two words: Who Cares?
Thomas Finnegan, UK

If Burrell had been given the notes from Diana then as soon as the accident happened, he should have handed a copy over to the police and NOT wait until his book was released.
Phil, UK

Paul Burrell has memories of Princess Diana her boys would never have. He should keep his and let the princes keep theirs cherished memories of the loving and wonderful mother they got cheated of at a young age. Paul Burrell - sorry for your troubles but go make your money doing an honest days work. The Royal family has never been the nicest of folks but the princes do not deserve to be hurt by exploiting their dead mother.
Tara Hardeen, Trinidadian / US

What worries me is that there is so much fuss about what is, in the end, a non-story. Considering the time and space taken up by this and the other non-story (the Tory leadership struggle) the government could have sold the entire country to Taiwan or Samoa in the last week and no one would have noticed! Let's focus on important stories and events, please.
Derek, U.K.

If the Royal family behaved themselves and acted with the dignity due their station in the first place, there'd be nothing to reveal, now would there?
Megan, USA

He is as bad as the tabloids who ultimately led to her death
DW, UK
Unfair treatment of Diana by the Royals. She was and adulteress. I wouldn't treat my Daughter in Law with any courtesy or respect if she cheated on my son, why should the Royals be any different. As for Burrell, he is simply selling his story to make money, profiting out of his relationship with Diana. He is as bad as the tabloids who ultimately led to her death.
DW, UK

I have no axe to grind one way or another - but Burrell is a hypocrite - if he loves the woman so much why does he feel the need to spit on her grave?
Chris Walker, England

On a day when we discover that there was an estimated 13,000 slaughtered in Iraq - people can still waste time and energy talking about an idiot who worked for an over privileged fashion model.
Dave Elliot, UK

Paul Burrell should be charged with withholding evidence, and his book should be confiscated and all proceeds given to charity. As to his statement that he should have had a telephone call from the palace - rubbish; the man was a servant, a lackey, nothing more - he is a disgrace.
Peter, England

I think Mr Burrell was right to publish his book because I think he should have not had to go through the pain of a trail which was stopped just as he was getting to some home truths about how Diana was treated by the Royal Family. If it could have been stopped then - during the trail - why couldn't it have been stopped immediately when the accusations were made? I don not think the Princes can have any criticism on Mr Burrell. Also, many other people write books about other people's life so why cannot we hear a version about Diana, Princess of Wales, life by one of the people that knew her best.
Thomas Green, England

I think it's disgusting that Mr Burrell is making money out of someone's death. It's not his place to reveal private information about his friend who obviously trusted him greatly. I could never betray a friend in that way. He has shown him self to be a scheming, greedy, manipulative man who is only concerned about him self.
Bethan Griffiths, UK

So many of Diana's employees have betrayed her trust, so I am not surprised that the butler got into the act
C. Punnett, Trinidad
So many of Diana's employees have betrayed her trust, so I am not surprised that the butler got into the act. What I think reprehensible is that he could be allowed to use extracts of letters that do not belong to him. I never thought he would never write some memoirs about his life with Diana, but I do find him a rat to use 'her estate' to publish a book which obviously hurts her children. They remain innocent bystanders in the whole mess. Every year it seems they get abused. What will next year bring?
C. Punnett, Trinidad

It appears to me that the establishment went out of their way to crucify PB. I don't blame him for publishing his book. Our Royal Family have had things their own way for far too long. It is very sad that there appears one set of rules for them and another for the rest of us. How sad it is to see various news sheets taking different views. All the people I have asked are right behind Paul and good luck to him.
Peter, UK

Loyalty works both ways in the employer/employee relationship. Mr Burrell didn't publish anything until he was dragged through the courts for crimes he didn't commit - where was the royal family's loyalty to him? Does the fact that he was a servant mean he must defer to ill treatment? Quite frankly I couldn't care less what goes on with the Royal Family, but it's annoying to hear all the fawning 'how dare he' comments, especially when people were more than happy to criticise the royals when it came to their treatment of Diana.
Katherine, UK

No matter what Burrell think of the remaining members of the Royal Family, he is now betraying Diana. She placed her trust in him and he is now breaking that trust by revealing private documents that have no place in public. His motivations are entirely transparent - greed and money - and his protestations of loyalty or seeking the truth sound empty indeed.
Jonathan, UK

Where can I get my copy? I'll gladly help Burrell expose the unfair treatment Diana received.
Susannah, UK

If he wants to make money from his story then good luck to him
Melanie, UK
When are we going to stop going about the late Princess Diana? Yes, she was a decent human who did much needed work for charity. Yes, she was a wonderful mother to her sons. But why does the fascination continue? I have no problems with Burrell releasing his book - if he wants to make money from his story then good luck to him - I don't see why he shouldn't be allowed to publish.
Melanie, UK

Strange but I see all these posts talking about betrayed loyalty to Diana. It seems everyone on the planet that Diana knew has been permitted to get by with betraying her trust, including her husband, yet this man, Mr. Burrell is to be held to the fire? Nonsense. If others have a right to tell what they know, he does too. I'm surprised by British support for the employer, the Royal family, in this when in all other cases, such as the BA ordeal, the working class would never support the "employer".
Sasha, USA

The princes have got to remember that they were young relatively speaking when she died, so they have to admit the possibility that she wasn't telling them everything.
Neil Apter, UK

Paul Burrell looks almost as dishonourable as the royal family over some of these things. He says that a 'phone call and a cup of tea would have sorted it all out. I suspect that there's some truth in that - he looks like a man who was on the fence, torn between genuine loyalty and greed. I think if he had been given what he says he wanted, the feeling of being "taken into the fold", that might have tipped him to the other side of the fence. It certainly might have delayed his book by five, even ten years.
Jo, UK

Every person who ever bought a newspaper prior to Diana's death are responsible for contributing to the misery of the final years of her life. I suspect these are the same people who will buy the book, and sadly the same who 'grieved' over her death and now refer to her as a national icon.
Gerald, UK

I just wish he was honest and publicly stated that the reason he was doing it
Mark, Scotland
I have no real problem with Paul Burrell writing his book. I just wish he was honest and publicly stated that the reason he was doing it was for the money and stop feeding the press with all the spin around his reason for publishing.
Mark, Scotland

Putting aside the moral rights and wrongs of this matter, in a recent interview, Burrell admitted to having signed a mass of documents (including the Official Secrets Act) when first he joined Royal Service. I spent 25 years in the MoD, and also signed the act, when joining, and on leaving. Now, if I were to try to publish a book revealing all that I had seen and heard, I am quite sure that I would be receiving a tap on the shoulder. I therefore wonder why this man seems to have published details of the Royal Family with impunity. I certainly believe that he has betrayed the trust placed in him.
Tony Barclay, England

I hope Paul Burrell makes a fortune from his book and goes on to write another giving more sordid details of this seemingly dysfunctional family. Have they shown him any loyalty? They apparently used him and then threw him on the scrap heap and if he's angry, who can blame him?
Kate, UK

If you work for someone, you should respect that - otherwise you end up being given no respect whatsoever. Still, maybe the rich and famous will think twice about employing servants and just get on with life without them like the rest of us!
Hope Full, UK

Well done Paul, Diana deserved better than the shoddy treatment dished out by the royal household, as did you. Its time we gave up the royals and became a democracy anyway.
Meg, Scotland

A servant is not a slave
Liese Tamburrino, US
I find the outrage of some of Princess Diana's friends (over Burrell's) book) relatively amusing. A servant is not a slave. He is not a puppy who can be told to be quiet and sit in the corner. He is a human being and an employee. The royals themselves broke the moral contract with him when they overlooked this point a long time ago, and now they want to cry foul because Burrell is speaking up. The hypocrisy of people who have millions of dollars and untold privilege daring to suggest that Burrell is betraying his employer is amazing.
Liese Tamburrino, US

It is encouraging to read that a human side to the too frequent stiff upper-lipped royal family reactions has appeared following the publication of Paul Burrell's book. Princes William and Harry wishing to defend their mother's honour and reputation is an extremely positive sign. It clearly indicates that the breach between the royal family and the man in the street can after all find its meeting point in the name of those we truly love, and that such feelings should indeed carry us beyond the barriers of protocol.
Antonia Carson, France

If one phone call from the Royal Family would've prevented this, then this is clearly revenge. Using the name of a dead woman is not illegal but is in extremely bad taste. For 15 years, Diana tried to keep her private life as private as it can be. It's clear that those who are actually loyal to Diana's memory are those who just don't say nothing at all. Whether the book contains good or bad, he is still profiting from someone else's tragic story.
John M, US

Burrell is a free person and can publish a book if he chooses. However, to do so without the consent of the Princes is in extremely bad taste and can only be described as gold-digging. What's more, if he had 'evidence' in the form of letters that the Princess feared her life was in danger, as her butler surely he had a duty to inform the relevant people (bodyguards etc); if not before the 'event', then certainly immediately afterwards. Why wait until now? The more I see of Paul Burrell the less credible he seems.
L Chapman, England, UK

I believe that members of the Royal household staff should NEVER divulge the private life of the Royal Family
Andrea Mayes, USA
I believe that members of the Royal household staff should NEVER divulge the private life of the Royal Family. Curiosity is on their side. People love to know about the Family. How can the Royal Family beat that kind of sleaze? If, as he says, he wanted to be kind to P. Diana, he should not reveal anything else about her. We already know far too much.
Andrea Mayes, USA

It is likely that Paul Burrell knew Diana as well as or better than any other adult who was ever close to her. What some people call betrayal for his copious note taking during her lifetime, others would call preserving history.
Elizabeth King, USA

Good for you Paul, I hope you make a fortune out of it, you deserve it you went through hell and got no help from the Royals until the very end. Now two privileged princes are angry about the book, well it's ok for them with their millions, but I didn't see them offering money to help out with your legal fees. They had their chance to do the right thing and didn't do anything. So good for you Paul I hope you make a fortune, which of course will be a minute fraction of what the princes have simply for being born royal.
D Huggans, UK/US

I'm sick and tired of the establishment (Royals in particular) expecting loyalty. They threw this man to the wolves, and had it not been for their fear of what he might say, they would have walked away from him. I'm pleased he is telling his story, it's time more did, so we can really see what an out of date waste of space Royals and their like are.
Tedd Jones, England

To quote Brick Top (a la "Snatch"), "However Paul, you do exhibit all of the characteristics of a dog. All except loyalty". That pretty much sums up Burrell. He's not worth the paper he's writing on.
Edwin Thornber, UK/Romania

There's no betrayal in telling the truth
John M, LyneMeads, UK
Diana was a public figure and many questions remain unanswered about her life and the circumstances of her death: it's right that the facts be known. If criminal acts have occurred within the Royal residences it's also right that the facts be known to help bring the culprit(s) to justice. There's no betrayal in telling the truth.
John M, LyneMeads, UK

Every one of us 'sells' our assets - be it our brains, body or knowledge/experience - so Burrell is just doing the same. He's got a good lawyer behind him to make sure he doesn't get locked up in the Tower and if I remember rightly, he was put through unnecessary misery and humiliation by the royals after Diana's death, so why should he feel obliged to stay silent?
John Farmer, UK

Several of Diana's "friends" have written books supposedly to set her story straight. Diana's nanny, her American employer, her housekeeper, her personal protection officer, her private secretary... Surely these books about Diana must stop soon. There's hardly anyone left who knew her who hasn't written a book.
Irene, USA

The funny thing is that many of those complaining about this book will be the same people who end up buying it. Personally I'm not particularly interested in Diana or what she did or didn't get up to. I didn't join the mass hysteria when she died and I'm not about to waste my time reading petty revelations about her private life now. Get a life people, and stop trying to live vicariously through a person you only know as a media myth.
C Wright, UK

Paul Burrell has stated enough times that he wants the truth to be known
Flack, Belgium
I am very pleased that this book has been published and I have already ordered a copy. Paul Burrell has stated enough times that he wants the truth to be known, and this is why it is important that his book be published. I see him as a strong supporter of Diana's cause which no one else has concerned themselves with. The Royal Family, as Paul Burrell said, would just like everyone to forget Diana. Why was there no investigation into Diana's death? Why is there not going to be a public trial? I think many questions need to be answered.
Flack, Belgium

Paul Burrell has every right to publish whatever he wants, whenever he wants, this is a free country. The Royal Family let him and his family go through two years with a criminal case pending and only at the last minute decided to act. He has no job, was probably paid a small salary when he worked for them, and should make as much money as possible.
Phil Freedman, UK

It is madness that Paul Burrell has the nerve to tell the princes to grow up. His actions in the last few day seem childlike to an extreme. Using the nations emotions to help sell his book and open up old wounds for the royal family. it seems highly contradictive to say he cares about the royal family when he acts like this.
Matthew Hoyle, England

Whether he is wrong or right, only history will be able to judge. We cannot tell whether his comments are fact or fiction without more evidence to support either side. In time, as historians look back to Princess Diana's life will the issue truly be resolved one way or the other. Until that time I will hold an open mind.
Rachel, Oxford, UK

We have a right to know what happened to her in her life, how she was treated, and most importantly about her death
Sara Khalifa, England
Diana was loved so much in life, and also went through so much heartache and emotions. She is no longer with us but we have a right to know what happened to her in her life, how she was treated, and most importantly about her death. Paul Burrell has been honest about everything. It's the Royal family who don't want this truth to be published which is why the media have started giving Paul a bad name. Why else would the Royal family want to hide the truth?
Sara Khalifa, England

What's most worrying is the public's continued, morbid fascination with Diana. Fairly ironic really considering that in the weeks and months prior to her death, the public couldn't find a kind word to say about her. The book is probably much like its two main characters of Burrell and the Princess of Wales: dull and uninspiring.
Guy, UK

I think it's disgusting that he is making a fortune from Princess Diana's death, he has betrayed the Royal Family and should be ashamed of himself. I think he and his publisher should NOT have released this book, doesn't anyone have morals anymore?
Katie Lazenby, UK

To me it seems he has betrayed the trust the princess placed in him. Didn't he have to sign confidentiality agreements when he took up his position?
Zorina, USA

What a totally despicable man. He was merely a butler, no more, who earned the trust and respect of Princess Diana, to later betray her memory, the Royal family and the British people. He has now earned his place in the stocks at the Tower of London. What a great attraction it would make, I'll bring the tomatoes!
Chris Martin, Norway (Ex-UK)

The book is clearly a self serving device for his own profit and grandeur
Nick Greenacre, England
If I were made redundant (no matter how tragic the circumstance) I would not expect the CEO to keep in touch, nor would I resent such a lack of contact. Burrell was paid to do a sensitive job and was in no way a 'victim' of the royal household. Quite the opposite; were it not for HRH, Burrell would probably be in prison now. He was allowed to keep items that were not morally not his - he should be grateful for that. The book is clearly a self serving device for his own profit and grandeur. It's also a betrayal of those whom he says he cherishes.
Nick Greenacre, England

In a world that has long ago cast aside morality in favour of expediency, there is only the rule of law. Paul Burrell is subject to the law like everyone else, and is entitled to tell his story. It is up to the public whether they buy it or not.
CK Yoe, UK

I'm no royalist but I am shocked to see Princess Di's "rock" behave so despicably. He has written this book to make money. He got a taste of a grand and public life when he did his after-dinner things in the name of the Memorial fund. He has gotten a liking for it and will sell whatever tales he can to afford him that lifestyle...a lifestyle he could never afford as a butler. His money will never bring him happiness. I don't think he should get any meet up with any Royal member...that will only give him another pay-day as he will no doubt spill the beans of that chat. Paul Burrell...please, let the dead rest in peace.
Geraldine, Glasgow

Paul Burrell seems to have confused his long term service to the Royal family with membership of that family. Diana's sons have certain memories of their mother. For Burrell to forever change those memories is just despicable. He must let them lead their difficult lives as best they can.
John, Singapore

It's very clear that his intent is to make money off a tragedy
Andy, England
It's very clear that his intent is to make money off a tragedy. He has stabbed the Princess in the back with his book, no matter how he rationalizes it. He has used Diana's "personal and confidential" correspondence to tarnish her and the whole royal family. The book is unbecoming to the confidences he held with the royal family and shows what a slimy fellow he is.
Peter, US

Interestingly I find there are no comments about the "press involvement" in these petty scandals. Perhaps if the press were not so keen to raise muck for profit, people such as Paul Burrell would not be tempted to reveal items that he should or may have kept to himself.
Andy, England

Despite the adverse publicity, Paul Burrell is not breaking new ground. What he is saying in his book is very much in line with what Princess Diana revealed in her famous TV interview a few years ago. Perhaps, the time has come to replay that interview. What Diana said then was not exactly kind to the British Royal family, just like Paul Burell's book. Is the truth being rubbished again?
Mr Peter Kaluba, UK

Whether he is right or wrong about publishing - one thing is certain he will be laughing all the way to the bank. No doubt the majority of the information is hyped up over exaggerated sensationalised rubbish, which he is able to print without being proved wrong... the only person who can verify it is dead. This we should remember, along with the fact that Paul Burrell's motivation is purely financial and vengeful.
Joanna, Dubai, UAE

If anyone should hang their head in shame it's those that buy this book
Matt, Amsterdam
It disgusts me that people are buying this book. The same gossips and tabloid readers that were in outcry at the manner in which Diana died are now sifting through gossip about the dead. The people that buy this book are the very same people that hounded her to her death and are the reason that the press make so many people's lives a misery. If anyone should hang their head in shame it's those that buy this book.
Matt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (ex. UK)

I saw the interview, and Burrell was very quietly spoken and 'sincere'. At first I thought he was just out to make money. But I now think he has an obsession with Diana and mentally feels he is always her protector. I don't think he is being deliberately malicious or vengeful, but rather a man who does require treatment for an obsession that he appears unable to let go.
Jim, Netherlands (ex UK)

If this had happened a couple of hundred years ago Paul Burrell would have to face a public execution for treachery! How dare he take advantage of the privileges he has experienced as part of working for the Royal family. I think Diana is turning in her grave right now at how the man she once called "her rock" is betraying not only herself, but her much loved sons.
Alex, England

Of course Paul should be allowed to publish the book. The public have a right to know more about the family at the top they are paying for through taxes. I'm sure there's a lot of shocking stuff we should know that he isn't allowed to tell. Allow him freedom of speech!
Toby Rose, UK

Many historical works quote from personal letters
Toby, Spain
Many historical works quote from personal letters, either in full or in part. I am currently reading a book on the life of Stalin that is peppered with extracts of his personal letters. Has the author been pilloried because he has invaded the privacy of Stalin & his wife even though they revealed the intimacy between the two? What makes Burrell's publication so different? Why should we distrust and disregard this man's testimony? I would point my finger at clever media manipulation on behalf of the palace and the British population being rather overly sentimental about Diana.
Toby, Spain

My objection is to the whole grubby tale taking over so many newspaper pages, when the REAL news is squeezed into the remaining space. It is up to the individual whether they buy the book, but do the rest of us really have to be subjected to the downmarket goings on of that family? My only consolation is that this could be another nail in the long overdue coffin of the monarchy.
Sheila, Devon, UK

If Mr Burrell was sincere about his friendship why is he making money out of it? I certainly wouldn't want to make money out of my friends, as I wouldn't be a true friend, would I? If he is a true friend, why not donate all the money made to Diana's charities? Go on Paul.
Peter Berry, UK

What concerns me is that this petty functionary (he was only a butler)should have had access to this type of information - or did he? I have grave doubts as to the origins of his material and concerns as to how and, moreover, why he collected it over the years.
Simon Howes, UK

If he cares so much for Diana's memory why is he humiliating her sons with comments such as "grow up." They are still children.
The revelation that he does not even have most of the letters and quoted them "from memory" undermines any shred of credibility this man may have had.
Bob, England

Who would wish ever to employ such indiscreet people in the future?
Georgina Protheroe-Beynon, England
There has been a relentless procession of ex-employees of the Royal Household all panting to get their "truth" to the reading public. No-one has a corner on truth, only an angle. Our Monarchy has withstood far worse than the revealed petty wrangling of one section of the whole. One can only suppose that the "exes" have to profit while they may, for who would wish ever to employ such indiscreet people in the future?
Georgina Protheroe-Beynon, England

Burrell should remember that he was a domestic servant to Diana and should not act as though he was trying to be an equal.
Richard, England

Diana was the same age as me; apart from this we had nothing in common. I would be gutted if anyone were to reveal ANY minor detail of my private life to my family after my death. What made me even sadder was seeing the book fly off the shelves at my local bookshop. True 'fans' of Diana would never buy it.
Gwen, Wales

After watching some of the interview on the BBC last night, I think he is very misguided, no way, as he states, could the book be classed as a historical work. Just his one-sided facts about the life of a very rich lady who had mental problems. She should be left to rest in peace, her name not dragged through the mud every few years by a vengeful servant.
Helen L Hampson, UK

I was never a big fan of Diana, but Burrell should hang his head in shame. Of all the people who have got rich from Diana, he is the worst. He was the one who above all others, always said he would not reveal her secrets, and he has now shown that he is as greedy as the rest. He claims that all it would have taken to stop the book was a phone call from the royal family. In truth, he is revelling in the fame that his association has brought him. His book will undoubtedly be a best seller, but I sincerely hope that whenever he walks down a street or into a room, everyone turns their backs to him as he has done to the memory of someone he professed to adore!
Chris Cooper, England

I actually feel sorry for Burrell. It must be terrible to be so bitter and full of hatred that he published this book. May he get professional help soon.
Graham, England

The question is: If Princess Diana knew at the time of writing, that Paul Burrell would one day publish them to the horror of her sons, would she have sent them? If not, then Paul Burrell is morally wrong to do so and, far from the protector of her memory, he is quite the opposite.
Steve Pearson, Manchester, UK

The Royal Family have only themselves to blame for Paul Burrell's actions
Chris, Australia
The Royal Family have only themselves to blame for Paul Burrell's actions - they must be the most arrogant, spoilt and totally out of touch people in the universe. We all deserve to know the truth about Diana's death and we aren't going to hear it from anyone else, are we? Good luck, Paul.
Chris, Australia (soon returning to UK)

A traitor in every sense of the word. Mr Burrell clearly cares for nothing and no-one but himself, as borne out in his increasingly selfish actions. The most staggering aspect of it all, to me at least, is his terrible lack of respect; while he may have misgivings with the Royal family, he should at least respect them as the Sovereign overseers of the nation. We have seen nothing but his introspective desire to profit from his experiences, and his determination to hold in contempt anyone who stands in his way. Shame on all those who stoop so low as to buy this trash.
Andy Weir, Richmond-upon-Thames, UK

I had no time for Diana, but she was treated rather shabbily by the family. But Paul Burrell, self styled friend of Diana is nothing but a money grubbing nasty little man. I do not understand why he was allowed to retain personal effects of the Princess.
ED HURD, USA - but from Liverpool

It's high time someone stood up to those Royals and stood their ground. That's what Burrell has done. So what if he financially gains from this?
Ama Man, England

Neither Diana nor Charles had much thought for their boys when they went public. No boy wants to hear derogatory about their parents. However, we are talking about men here. Men who are in line to 'rule' a country. Diana deemed it right to discuss private matters with Paul Burrell. Now her sons have their chance to do the same. I, for one, expect it of them.
Les Woods, England/UK

I would have done the same
Archie (UK), UK
Imagine! If you were Paul Burrell and you were accused of theft by your employer and were dragged through the courts in a most public way. Many people out their will always remember him not as Diana's butler but as the guy accused of steeling from her. I would have done the same. Anyone with any affection toward this disgraceful royal family is a sad monarchist. My affection was only for Diana. The rest of them do not deserve the privileges extended to them. God bless you Paul, get your nails out and mercilessly go for the royal jugular. Make whatever you can out of them.
Archie (UK), UK

The royal family and the Spencer family made very serious accusations against him. He could have gone to prison-his life and family ruined. Not one member of the two families contacted him and apologised for his great distress. Now they are concerned about their family being distressed.
M Walton, UK

I totally support free speech but the question has to be asked; should the BBC publish wholly inaccurate comments? Contrary to the beliefs of some of the contributors, the Royal Family did not accuse Paul Burrell of theft. It was the Spencer family in connection with the police, who made serious errors. I hope the BBC will strive to put these inaccuracies right.
Andrew Naylor, UK

This book is yet another attempt by Burrell to assert his 'special' and close relationship with the late Princess. He ought to keep in mind that William and Harry have endured pain and heartache far greater than his, which is amplified by behaviour like this. Burrell's motives are purely personal. If he had any regard for Diana, he would not put her sons through this.
Amie, England, London

It is hardly surprising that he has written this book
John C, Bath, England
Burrell was treated shabbily by the Royals and the Spencers regarding the trial for alleged theft, so it is hardly surprising that he has written this book. Much of the tabloid hysteria against Burrell has more to do with him selling the rights to a rival than any sense of moral outrage. In my view, considering the appalling and greedy conduct of Diana's executors and others telling the truth seems a fairly minor 'crime'.
John C, Bath, England

I have felt quite sorry for Burrell until this latest episode. If there really is a letter from Diana referring to plots top have her killed, surely he should have come forward at the time of her death. I am not a Royalist, but my sympathy is for William and Harry. If Burrell cares as much for Diana as he always insists that he does, then surely he can see how he his hurting her sons. The best thing that everyone can do is ignore Burrell, don't buy his book, no more interviews - let him sink into obscurity
June Simpson, A Brit in USA

I was never a fan of Diana, I just couldn't see the appeal but I do believe that Paul Burrell was treated badly by "the firm" and my attitude is, good luck to him.
NK, England

Diana herself 'betrayed secrets' when she gave her TV interview with Bashir
Victoria, U
I don't see why people get so indignant about it - Diana herself 'betrayed secrets' when she gave her TV interview with Bashir and when she wrote her book. I am sure Burrell has a partly financial motive; the tax man was after him and he is obliged to come up with a lot of loot. What would you do, in the circumstances? The princes must also understand that they will be adopting public life; the same rules cannot apply as they do in private life. Their mother's pain will always be a badge pinned to their own hearts - that is part of their destiny.
Victoria, UK

So much is disputed about Diana but one thing is clear - she put her sons' happiness first. This book cause them obvious pain and suffering. Therefore she would not have wanted it published. Burrell has betrayed her.
Jake, UK

A rock to Diana, a plank to the rest of the world!
Henry, UK

The real questions are: why did he destroy the princess' clothes following the accident? And why did he with hold for 6 years the letter stating her suspicions about the accident? Is this not obstruction of justice?
Fran Eldred, USA

I think what he has done is disgusting! He claims to be doing this because of the way the royal family has treated him. Why doesn't he dish up the dirt on them then - leave Diana out of it.
Gordon Sinclair, England UK

Yes he's quite right to publish. It's about time someone put up a fight for Princess Diana, instead of brushing everything under the carpet!!
Rumellah, UK

If my family had ever had a butler who was now writing a book all about us, we would either be delighted to see our names in print or say "publish and be damned". Why? Because there's nothing untoward to be revealed. Sadly this is not the case with our royal family - the impression the average person gets is that it is rotten to the core, and if so, the sooner this is laid bare, the better.
Matthew, France (English)

It doesn't matter if he was right or wrong to publish it, there's a market for this book, so whatever his motive, he will become a rich man because of it.
Jan, Scotland

John Lavender is absolutely right. The sooner we can be rid of the cult of celebrity the better.
Alan Harrison, UK

He should not have published and should have given all Diana's personal effects to her sons
Jane, UK
I wonder if Mr Burrell has thought how his children would feel if they lost there mother and had to put up with so called friends cashing in on her private life. Would he tell them to 'grow up'? He should not have published and should have given all Diana's personal effects to her sons.
Jane, UK

He is obviously just doing this for the money. If there wasn't a market for this kind of thing then books like this would never be published - if you're looking for someone to blame try the UK public and their apparently endless appetite for sensationalism.
Caroline, England

I adored the Princess of Wales and feels she was treated shabbily by the Royal Family. Now there is a repeat performance to one of her most loyal servants, a man who clearly held her in very high esteem. I do hope Princes William and Harry are being allowed influence by Diana's family, as 'requested' by Diana's brother.....a necessity for the boys to truly understand their mother's character. I am looking forward to reading Paul's version of events and welcome the opportunity to do so.
Mandy, England

Considering the manipulation, lies, power and money that the palace use I think it is fine for Paul to publish. The palace have brought the problems upon themselves especially Charles and while it may not be the most honourable thing to do has the palace been honourable in its dealings over the last 15 years - I doubt it very much.
P Tomlinson, France

He might have the "right" to publish and the Royals might have been beastly to him but anyone with an ounce of decency wouldn't dump all over a former confidante and her two bereaved teenage boys.
Daniel, UK

If Mr Burrell were to donate the proceeds of his book to one of Diana's charities, I might believe that he is doing it for all the right reasons. Unfortunately, at the moment, he looks like a sad and greedy little man.
Jo, UK

I believe he has every right to publish. The Royal Family by accident of birth have every privilege known to man given to them. I see nothing wrong in Burrell making a living from what he knows. He is after all only trying to give his family a tiny proportion of the comfort and wealth that his former employers have provided to them. It's a hard world - make what you can when you can. How many of us, given his position would be any different?
Peter, UK, Devon

Could this really be the late Princess's wishes
Peter, Moscow, Russia
It seems to me that he's become embittered and his reasons for publishing are based around revenge and greed. Could this really be the late Princess's wishes? Surely he is hurting those who meant the most to her. Finally, if he must take the moral high ground why is he not donating all profits from the book to one of Diana's charities?
Peter, Moscow, Russia

Yes, I think he should publish this book. The Royal Family have been shown to be less than honourable in the way they treated Diana after her separation from Charles. Let us not forget that Charles was seeing Camilla whilst married to Diana, which made her extremely unhappy.
C Taylor, USA

Paul Burrell appears to have been a loyal servant of Princess Diana and the holder of certain confidences. The Royals treated Di quite badly and despite that, Burrell kept his secrets for five years. Now, he is doing what I think Di would have approved of. Showing the Royals for what they are. Good luck to him. Diana will be laughing her head off!
Mark H, UK

No. This is hurting the sons Princess Diana loved so very much and for that, and that alone, he should give the Princes and their Mother who is not here to defend herself respect. To say he cared deeply for Princes Diana I cannot believe, he is simply cashing in on his employment and relationship that Princess Diana held him in such high regard for his own personal gain.
Linda, Scotland

I never cared for Princess Di and I don't warm to Paul Burrell either. Having said that he has every right to publish what he wants and we should read the book and then opine.
R.C.Robjohn, UK

This not a tribute to Diana but simply a quick money making venture to pay off his legal fees. Also this is his way of insulting the royal family.
Julia, UK

It's bad enough that he is cashing in on the memory of the late Princess, but to pretend he is doing it for her sake is disgusting. I heard his interview on radio 4 and felt sick that he could sit there and claim some sort of moral high ground for making money out of other people's private letters.
Luke Magee, Wales

Mr. Burrell has suggested the Princes need to "grow up". If betraying trust and profiteering by exposing what was certainly meant to be private letters is being grown up, may I express the wish that Prince William and Prince Harry never become so grown up.
Jake Middlebrook, USA

I'm not remotely interested in Burrell and I'm not remotely interested in Diana. What saddens me is that so many people are!
ABC, UK

Paul Burrell does have the right to publish this but morally he should have kept it to himself. He has said all along that he is the keeper of the Princess's memory and now he is betraying the trust she placed in him in the worst way. William and Harry do not need to live the rest of their lives listening to commentary on a mother who is no longer here to defend herself.
Bronwyn, Canada

He has been treated so badly by the Royal Family, and they deserve everything they get. They need to learn a bit of decent respect for the public.
Gary Bembridge, UK

I hope his decision to publish haunts him for his selfishness
Frank, Scotland
It just seems like a sick and bitter revenge for Burrell. No side in this is innocent, but I hope his decision to publish haunts him for his selfishness. He may as well leave the country now.
Frank, Scotland

Why didn't the police confiscate these records? What really went on at the end of last year's court case? Why not give any funds received from the book to any or all of Diana's charities rather than profit from doing his job? Why not just let it all rest rather than dangle more 'carrots' in the press which will never let things go, whilst there is mileage and any possible story relating to the Royal Family!!
AG, United Kingdom

Mr Burrell seems to have the legal right to publish if what I hear is correct. Morally, he is wrong. He is, of course, no more wrong than the people who lap all this up and buy the stuff. Hopefully, this is the last we will hear about Mr Burrell. I hope his sons and wife are allowed more peace than he has allowed others. That seems unlikely, given that he and others find it profitable to do otherwise.
Tony, UK

Who cares? As long as gullible idiots will fork out hard earned cash to buy this sort of drivel people like Paul Burrel will earn a nice living without much effort.
Angela Melachrino, UK

As he has said, a call from the Royals to apologise or express regret at his trial and for not coming forward would have avoided what is now an understandable "publish and be damned reaction.
Andrew Prior, England

I would question the facts of the book as there is no one available to contradict whatever Mr Burrell wants to say. However, the people we have to blame for his continued presence in the news are the people and newspapers who pay him money for his 'stories'. If no one buys he'll go away really quickly.
Jay, Wales

Some of the people complaining about Burrell's book are the very ones who will go out and buy it!!
Vincent, UK
He should have definitely published his book. There are plenty of people out there who love to hear about Diana and any new information out there satisfies their need. It is also probably the case that some of the people complaining about Burrell's book are the very ones who will go out and buy it!!
Vincent, UK

Why do we give this man the time of day? I won't be buying his book and I won't be watching any programme which interviews him - I'm not interested in anything he has to say.
Wendy Henderson, Scotland

The guy may have the right to publish, but having the right to do something does not mean that he should do it. He disgusts me. It's a total betrayal. And where does he get off telling the princes to "grow up"? They're teenagers for God's sake!
Steve, UK

Smells like revenge and some might say the Royal family had it coming. Why on earth didn't they give him a nice pension and a grace and favour flat in order to avoid all of this? Sheer arrogance I think.
Michelle, USA

The man was the hired hand not a friend of Diana. It is a shame she can not defend herself in person.
Greg, UK

He was in a position of trust and should respect the wishes of the 2 sons. But money talks as usual.
B. Peters, UK.

After the shabby way he was treated by the royal family during the court case against him who can blame him, it's a case of don't get mad get even!
Bill Pipe, UK

This is more a debate about morality and ethics than the right of speech. He has the right to say as he pleases, but is it acceptable for him to abuse the trust given to him during his employment? I think this is best answered by thinking whose interests are best served by it being published - the princes?, the public?. Only one person benefits and the only benefit is financial. Paul Burrell is low-life for publishing.
William, UK

He is a disgrace
Rob, England
This man loves the attention of being a "victim". Whatever one's thoughts are of Princess Diana, this man should not, if he really did love his former employer, get involved in any profit making or fame making gimmick. He is a disgrace. He should give all the profits of his book to charity. You're a sad case Mr Burrell, go away, and leave Princess Diana alone and stop causing her boys heartache.
Rob, England

No! He should not publish and no-one in their right mind should buy his book. I am not a royalist and was never a fan of Princess Diana's, but Burrell cannot claim to revere her memory and to sink to these depths.
Biddy, UK

No, he is a disgrace. To describe the book as a tribute to Princess Diana is absurd. Burrell simply wishes to cash in by divulging private and personal information for his own personal gain.
Michael Bellingham, UK

Unless Paul Burrell was subject to a previous agreement not to reveal matters during his employment he is perfectly entitled to do so. What is saddening is that there are so many people who relay on vicarious living that they are interested.
John Lavender, England

It clearly is a betrayal of trust and the royal princes have every right to be disgusted
Amanda, England
Since Mr Burrell seems to think he is actually doing the late Princess of Wales a favour, I presume he is intending giving the proceeds of his book to charity. It clearly is a betrayal of trust and the royal princes have every right to be disgusted and upset.
Amanda, England

The book is his opinion only and not an official document. It is a summary of his experiences and views on the princess's life and is none of the business of people in the palace. Yes he should publish.
Simon, England

Burrell is blatantly trying to make money and fame from the story of a dead princess. To hide potentially criminal evidence until publication of his book just goes to show how much of a cad he is. It's either true (in which case he should have presented it to the police after Diana's crash) or untrue (in which case he's scamming for book sales). Either way it's despicable. He should have crawled back under his stone rather than publish this book.
Bennett, UK

What does getting a call from the palace have to do with it? It just shows this is nothing to do with truth and honest and everything to do with making money from the gullible public who lap this rubbish up.
John, UK

Yes, I think he is right to publish. I can understand why he feels the way he does. It does appear that the Palace seems to think it can behave the way it wants to to everyone and anyone without recourse. Lessons could be learned here.
Joe Murphy, UK

Mr. Burrell has the right to publish. We live in a free society
David J, UK
Mr. Burrell has the right to publish. We live in a free society and I won't argue about this right. I do question his motives, when he suddenly found letters a month before his book came out. It looks like a publicity stunt - I wonder if there more letters which will be found just before his next book comes out?
David J, UK

After the way he was treated by the Royal Family when his theft trial collapsed, I believe he has every right to be angry and to tell his story. I believe there is more to come.
Nayla, Spain

I think the fact that he is saying one phone call from the palace would have stopped him writing this book, says it all. He has written this book to get back at the Prince of Wales and the Queen and this has nothing to do with him acting in the best interests of Diana. He of course will make a lot of money from it, something he feels is his due. He has betrayed the Princess and has hurt those closest to her - her sons.
JLG, UK




SEE ALSO:
Burrell: Diana's rock
25 Oct 03  |  UK


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