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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 12:49 GMT
Paul Burrell: A timeline
Paul Burrell
Paul Burrell outside the Old Bailey
The late Princess Diana's butler, Paul Burrell, has been cleared of stealing from her estate. Here is a timeline of the investigation and controversial trial.

1997:
31 August - Diana, Princess of Wales dies in a Paris car crash. Her butler Paul Burrell flies to the French capital where he is handed the clothes she died in. He dresses her body in a clean outfit and puts on her make-up before joining the Prince of Wales in returning to Britain with her body.

13 November - The Queen awards Mr Burrell the Royal Victorian Medal for his 21 years' service to the royal family.

Paul Burrell with Princess Diana
With Diana in Bosnia
15 November - A committee is established to decide on a memorial to Diana and Mr Burrell is appointed as a member.

1998:
21 March - At a charity ball in Los Angeles, to raise the profile of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, Mr Burrell says "loyalty and trust" are "the most essential" qualities.

2 August - Speaking in depth for the first time, he says: "I don't think I'll ever get over her death. Nothing can replace that void."

19 December - Mr Burrell quits the Memorial Fund and recriminations follow. Chief executive Andrew Purkis claims the former butler "would dearly love to be more of a media personality".

Entertaining with Style cover
Paul Burrell penned a book on entertaining in royal style
1999:
May - Media offers come to fruition. Mr Burrell signs a deal for a book, Entertaining With Style, and joins Channel 5 to present Open House, a programme commenting on royal stories and passing on cookery tips.

2001:
18 January - Mr Burrell is arrested in a dawn raid on his Cheshire home. Police spend the day searching his house and removing items. He is later accused of stealing from Diana, Prince of Wales and Prince William.

19 January - Scotland Yard detectives begin to question Mr Burrell.

27 February - Bail is granted to Mr Burrell, pending further inquiries.

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 in court with stealing 342 items belonging to Diana, Prince William and the Prince of Wales. The items include CDs and LPs signed by Diana, some of her designer clothing and family photo albums.

17 August - At Bow Street magistrates court in central London, the former butler is remanded on conditional bail. His solicitor Andrew Shaw later denounces it as a "trophy trial".

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

28 November - Mr Burrell is close to tears after being committed to stand trial at the Old Bailey.

2002:
8 August - Graham Burrell is told he will not face charges as police discontinue their inquiries over him.

14 October - Postponed from January, to avoid clashing with the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, the trial gets under way. Mr Burrell pleads not guilty to three counts of theft.

16 October - No sooner has it started than the trial is stopped and the jury is discharged for legal reasons.

17 October - The second trial begins.

Queen Elizabeth II
The trial ended after the intervention of the Queen and Prince Charles
29 October - On day nine of the trial, it is abruptly halted again and the jury sent home until further notice.

1 November - The trial dramatically collapses with Mr Burrell acquitted on all charges.


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