[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 13:32 GMT
Burrell denies betraying princess
Paul Burrell
Paul Burrell says his name has been "trashed"
Former royal butler Paul Burrell has said his book on Princess Diana is a "loving tribute", written after he suffered a "rollercoaster of madness".

Mr Burrell said Princes William and Harry should "grow up", after they accused him of betrayal over the book.

William is reported to want a meeting with Mr Burrell, and Buckingham Palace said the Queen supported him in this.

Mr Burrell said the book, published on Monday, would not have appeared if the Royal Family had been kinder after his theft trial collapsed.

He also said he wanted to give the princes a piece of his mind for not supporting him when he had been at his lowest ebb.

In interviews on Monday, Mr Burrell energetically defended himself against accusations that the book, serialised in the Mirror, was a betrayal.

Meeting welcomed

HAVE YOUR SAY
Some of the people complaining about Burrell's book are the very ones who will go out and buy it!
Vincent, UK

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "I have been on this rollercoaster of madness - I have been here, there and everywhere.

"From the very beginning, from grieving the Princess's death, through the memorial fund and being sacked, through the police knocking on my door and taking me to the highest court in the land.

"My name has been trashed, my family has been put through hell and I have been to the brink of suicide.

"At the end of all that, I think it is important that I have a say - I am a human being too and I need to put the record straight."

He insisted he had written it to correct "lies and untruths" about Diana.

He also hinted at more revelations in the future.

I would very much like to see the two princes - they offered to see me and I said 'yes please'
Paul Burrell

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I have no plans at this moment in time to write another book, but I don't know what the future holds, do I?"

The book - called A Royal Duty - includes extracts of private letters written to and from Diana, as well as claims about her marriage, break-up, subsequent relationships and death.

Mr Burrell said he would happily meet Prince William, who is understood to be hoping to persuade him not to make any more revelations.

Responding to questions about that on Monday, Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen's conversations with her family are a private matter.

"But the Queen fully supports Prince William at this time."

'Loving tribute'

Mr Burrell blamed William and his brother Harry for not contacting him after his "ordeal" of being taken to court over allegations he stole the princess's possessions, in a trial which later collapsed.

Mr Burrell said: "I would very much like to see the two princes. They offered to see me and I said 'yes please'...

I defy any man not to have fallen in love with her slightly, having met her... I would have done anything for her
Paul Burrell on Princess Diana

"And I would like to ask them a few questions too... I think I would like to give them a piece of my mind, and ask them why did they personally not help me when I needed help, at the worst point of my life.

"I tried desperately to contact them, but there was no response."

When asked whether he believed Diana was murdered, he said: "I don't have the information to collate... you should be asking me why it has taken six years for us to have an inquest into the princess's death."

'Vulture'

But he said: "Of course she was being listened to, of course she was being followed. She wasn't paranoid. It was the truth."

Front cover of book
The book has been serialised in the Daily Mirror
He later admitted to BBC Radio Five Live that he did not actually possess most of the letters referred to in his book.

He said much of the information had come from his diary and his memory, which he maintained was crystal clear.

Over the weekend, Mr Burrell attracted a flurry of comments from those who have been involved in the Royal Family's affairs.

Former royal press officer Dickie Arbiter said the former butler was a "runaway train".

Rosa Monckton, a friend of Diana's, called him a "vulture", while Vivienne Parry, another friend of Diana's, described the book as "cynical".




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"According to him it was the trauma of the trial that prompted him to write the book"



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


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific