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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 10:08 GMT
In full: Palace's timeline of events
Former butler Paul Burrell leaves outside court after the collapse of his Old Bailey trial
Queen's role in the trial already made clear, palace said
Buckingham Palace has issued a chronology of the Queen's involvement in the Paul Burrell trial after the Prince of Wales set up an inquiry into its collapse and the subsequent allegations:

December 1997: The Queen met Mr Burrell privately for about one and a half hours at his request.

In the course of the discussion Mr Burrell mentioned that he had taken some of the Princess's papers for safekeeping.

No response was sought from The Queen and none was given.

January 2001: Following the raid on Mr Burrell's house in January 2001, the Prince of Wales's private secretary informed The Queen's private secretary that none of The Queen's personal possessions had been found.

Sir Robin Janvrin reported this to The Queen and advised her that there was therefore no basis for any involvement in the police investigation.

3 April 2001: At the suggestion of The Prince of Wales's private secretary, the Queen's private secretary attended a police/CPS briefing at St James's Palace as an observer.

During this briefing the police outlined the possible charges and said that they were investigating whether Mr Burrell had been selling some of the items.

Following this meeting Sir Robin Janvrin reported to the Queen and advised that he had agreed with the Prince of Wales's private secretary that all further liaison with the police would be a matter for St James's Palace.

21 September 2001: A letter was received from Paul Burrell's solicitor asking for a meeting to discuss Paul Burrell's life and service with the Royal Family.

This was declined because the Queen was not involved with the case and a meeting might have been misinterpreted as interference in the judicial process.

Autumn 2001: The Queen's private secretary was told informally by The Prince of Wales's private secretary that the police had told The Prince of Wales that they had evidence that Paul Burrell had been selling items from the Princess's estate.

He mentioned this to the Queen.

22 October 2002: It was made clear during the trial that, contrary to their earlier advice, the police had no evidence that Paul Burrell had been selling the items in question.

25 October 2002: The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales discussed the case in the car en route to the Bali Memorial Service at St Paul's.

The Queen mentioned the meeting with Paul Burrell five years ago, and his statement that he had taken some of the Princess's papers for safekeeping.

Given the importance to the prosecution case of the question of whether or not Mr Burrell had told anyone that he had taken items from Kensington Palace, the relevance of this information was realised and quickly drawn to the attention of the police.

The subsequent decision on whether or not the trial should proceed, was entirely for the CPS.


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