Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Tuesday, December 22, 1998 Published at 19:31 GMT


Diana butler's 'tragic' decision

Paul Burrell with Diana in Angola: No to charity job

The decision by the butler of Diana, Princess of Wales to leave the charity set up in her name has been described as "tragic" by a colleague.

Speaking after former butler Paul Burrell cleared his desk on Tuesday, fundraising manager Jacqueline Allen, who also worked for the princess, said that their position at the charity had been "awful" and that the pair had received "no support".

Mr Burrell, 40, had been made redundant from the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund on Friday and decided not to take up a different post as a "roving ambassador" offered by Chief Executive Andrew Purkis.

'Very sad'

It was decided that Mr Burrell's position as a fundraiser - he was widely seen as the charity's public face - was unnecessary because the memorial fund is no longer actively raising money.

The butler, who Diana described as "my rock", spent more than three hours at the fund's offices saying goodbye to colleagues and he appeared to be tearful as he left.

Ms Allen said she was "very sad" to see him go and suggested that she may soon leave her own job at the charity.

"I think the general public know how much Paul has given to the fund," she said.

'I'll do my best'

"Ever since the Princess died Paul and I have been put in the most awful position and it just seems to continue.

"We have never had any support and I think someone should just actually look at what - especially Paul - but both of us have actually been through."

Newspaper reports earlier this month suggesting that Mr Burrell had been sacked were denied by the charity, which said there was "no question" of his dismissal.

The News of the World claimed that the former butler had been sacked during a lunch meeting with fund solicitor Anthony Julius and Diana's sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale.

Mr Burrell was asked to clear his desk after Christmas, with the departure marking a change of direction for the fund towards making corporate deals, the newspaper said.

The fund has so far raised more than £80m, and licenses the use of the Princess's signature for money-raising products.

Mr Burrell gave no indication if he would continue with charity work, saying as he left his office: "I'll do my best."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

13 Dec 98†|†UK
Diana butler staying put, says charity

03 May 98†|†UK
Diana's 'rock' must leave palace

18 Mar 98†|†UK
Diana's faithful servant speaks

18 Mar 98†|†UK
Diana's "rock" throughout the storms

Internet Links

BBC News Diana Memorial Site

The Princess of Wales Memorial Fund

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online