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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 17:26 GMT
Butler 'wrong' to keep William letters
Former nanny Olga Powell leaving the Old Bailey
Olga Powell: Mr Burrell "should not have had her letter"
A "very personal" letter from Prince William's nanny consoling him over his parents' impending separation ended up wrongly in Diana's former butler's house, the Old Bailey has heard.

Other photos and letters to Prince William from his mother were also "precious" and should have been kept at the family home, the jury was told.

The pictures and letters were discovered in the loft of former butler Paul Burrell's Cheshire home during a police raid.

Mr Burrell denies stealing hundreds of items - including photos, letters, clothing and records - from the estate of the late princess, Prince Charles and Prince William.


Prince William was always very conscious about where he left his letters

Clair Southwell
Ex-Royal aide

Former nanny Olga Powell said she sent the "very personal" note in 1992 to William, then aged 10 and at school, after he was told the Prince and Princess of Wales intended to separate.

William Boyce QC, prosecuting, asked: "Is there any reason why Mr Burrell should have possession of this letter?"

"No," she said.

'Wrong hands'

Earlier Clair Southwell, a former member of Prince Charles's household, said photos and cards sent to the prince by his mother were "very important" to William.

Clair Southwell leaving the Old Bailey
Ex-aide Clair Southwell said Mr Burrell should not have had the items
Ms Southwell helped Mr Burrell sort through Diana's personal possessions after her death - including cards beginning "Darling Wombat" and ending "Love Mummy".

"Prince William was always very conscious about where he left his letters," she said.

"He was aware of what would happen if the letters fell into the wrong hands. Therefore he would look after his letters very carefully."

She insisted Prince William would have "expected" the photos to be kept safely at Prince Charles's home at Highgrove or at the Spencer family home at Althorp.

Clothing gifts

Diana's former dresser Helen Walsh told the court the princess would give items of clothing away, and often gave things to Mr Burrell's wife Maria.

Former Buckingham Palace press officer
Dickie Arbiter: Photos should have been at Windsor
Gifts would be given regardless of how expensive the item was, or whether it was suitable for - or would fit - the recipient.

Another former dresser, Gwynneth Doncaster, described how many clothes Diana owned.

A Kensington Palace wardrobe contained seven cupboards - one, for instance, housing dozens of dresses and suits, another housing hats and shoes.

There were 25 pairs of trousers in suede and silk, 26 pairs of jeans, 17 pairs of daytime shoes and 75 sweaters, defence told the court.

There were also 14 nightshirts, eight bathrobes, and seven dressing gowns.

When defence counsel Lord Carlile QC asked about Diana's preferred nightwear the judge, Mrs Justice Rafferty, interrupted.

Cartoon night-shirt

Lord Carlile explained he was following the allegation that the princess's pyjamas had been found "in my client's home."

Ms Doncaster agreed that Diana's preferred nightwear was a night-shirt with a cartoon character on the front.

Diana would then put on a towelling bath robe and wander around the house, she said.

David Fawkes, the general manager at Althorp, said that 250 boxes containing hats, shoes, photographs, albums, toys, children's clothing, furniture, ornaments, make-up and drawings were stored securely at Althorp after Diana's death.

The court was earlier told that photographic transparencies of Diana's wedding dress, found at Mr Burrell's home, should have been kept at Windsor Castle.

Dickie Arbiter, a former Buckingham Palace press officer, said he sent the negatives to Mr Burrell in 1998 with a note saying they should go to the royal photograph collection.

The case continues.

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The BBC's June Kelly
"There was no reason why that letter should be at Burrell's home"

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25 Oct 02 | Scotland
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