CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Paul Burrell

Aired December 5, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight Princess Diana's butler Paul Burrell. He sold intimate details of palace life to the tabloid, setting off a royal scandal that infuriated Di's own family. Tonight in his first live primetime interview, what other secrets will we learn? Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's rock, is here for the hour taking your phone calls. He's here next on LARRY KING LIVE


KING: Every time I get around the British I either go British or resort back to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Brookland. Any ways Paul Burrell our special guest. He was Princess Di long time butler and confidant, she referred to him as her rock. He was arrest on charges of stealing more then 300 hundred items. That whole trial collapsed when the queen literally exonerated him. We welcome him to LARRY KING LIVE.

What's life been like for you?

PAUL BURRELL, PRINCESS DIANA'S LONG TIME BUTLER: It's been a roller coaster of emotions, ups and downs.

KING: When you were arrested were you shocked?

BURRELL: I was. How naive could I be to think the police would not come to my door. They did come to my door and they found more than they should have.

KING: How did you get to be a butler?

BURRELL: How? I went to Buckingham Palace when I was 18.

KING: Learned it there?

BURRELL: They taught me. For three years they taught me the ropes and how to behave and speak properly and behave properly around the palace.

KING: What does a butler do?

BURRELL: A butler does everything for his master. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was it Helina (ph) the film "Gosford Park" she said? To be a servant is to have no life. That's exactly what a butler does. KING: You married, have children. So you were able to have that kind of life, weren't you?

BURRELL: Well, True, for some of the time. But your boss always comes first, and the princess always came first.

KING: Before your wife and children?

BURRELL: That's right. My family knew that.

KING: And accepted it?

BURRELL: Yes, they knew and understood it.

KING: How did you get the specific job of being her butler?

BURRELL: Well, the princess was looking for someone she could trust. And I was looking after the queen at the time, at Buckingham Palace. She worked on my wife. She said to Maria, wouldn't you like to come and live at Highgrove it's beautiful down in the country side? And you could have an idealic lifestyle there. Why not come and look after Charles and I in country home. And I said, No, I couldn't leave the queen. She said, course you can. So I did. And I went to look after both of them, in Highgrove.

KING: Looking out means -- anything they want?

BURRELL: Everything. Every single aspect of their life. Absolutely everything.

KING: Where they want to go, you take care of their travel, you do all the kind of things. Lay out their clothing?

BURRELL: A dresser normally does that. If they're traveling alone then you take all responsibilities.

KING: What was she like to work for?

BURRELL: She was sometimes very difficult, but interesting. She was an amazing lady. Huge amount of giving. Wherever she went in the world she was embraced. Especially in America.

KING: There are lots to talk about tonight. Well be taking calls. How do you account -- you said especially in America. You mentioned before to me before we started, she was going to live here?

BURRELL: That's right. Yes, she had plans to live in Malibu.

KING: Malibu?


KING: Was she going to marry the friend who died with her?

BURRELL: I never saw any plans for marriage. I have to say that because that's true. But she did want to come to America, because America is all embracing, isn't it? People easily are forgiven here in the states and not so much in England. She wanted to come here and start a new life. Great place to bring the boys for summer holidays and a great lifestyle.

KING: What happened with the items? How did those items come to you? How did you come to possess them? Give me the story.

BURRELL: Well, during my time with the princess, she gave me lots of things to keep safe. She was paranoid about her security inside the palace. She never knew who was coming in and out of her rooms at any one time. No, when she was away, a plumber or electrician or somebody could have been entering her room and looking at her private things.

So she gave me things to keep safe, and said, Paul, you take care of them, they're safe with you. Other things she had given to me and my wife and children as gifts. She was a very generous lady. She gave Maria a cast of clothes, Vesache, Valentino, all the beautiful clothes that she didn't want, Maria had. Hand bags from Gucci. Valentio hand bags and hand bags from famous designers. So all these shoes, hand bags, clothes. The police said -- course, they don't belong to you Maria, they belong to the princess took them and said that I had stolen them. Course I hadn't stolen them.

KING: They were given to you to take care of...


KING: ... and what had you intended to do with them after she had died?

Well, some of the items she had given to me, she said destroy them. Very recognizable suits or hats. And they were in my possession at the time of her death, but after she died, Larry, I couldn't burn anything or destroy anything which belonged to her. But a I was going through a very deep grieving process. And actually, I wanted to keep everything safe. I sort of mummified everything.

KING: You had no idea of keeping this for sale or profit? Step right up and buy lady's hat?

BURRELL: No. The police said I was selling things to America. What they didn't know was I have some very close American friends who had supported us during the time we didn't have an income. A very wealthy American family in Manhattan had sent us many thousands of dollars and course, the police thought that I was selling items to these people for gain.

KING: Could you reveal that family's name?

BURRELL: Could I reveal that family's name. Would that be very fair to say that?

KING: Why not, if they helped the queen.

BURRELL: They helped us a great deal -- Mr. And Mrs. Kingsberg in America, in Manhattan. Very generous family.

KING: A couple? What does he do?

BURRELL: He's a financier and works in the city.

KING: So you have all this stuff. Now you're arrested.


KING: Did you fear that nothing happening like the queen stepping in, you would be found guilty?

BURRELL: Yes, of course. When you're sat in the number one court in the Old Bailey on trial in a place where murderers and rapists had sat for generations. People were taken from that dock downstairs and hung. I was sat there thinking well my fate's sealed. I'm going to prison. I can't prove myself. The only person that could prove that was the lady that wasn't here any more.

KING: But you also knew the queen knew?

BURRELL: Well, I did, but you know, Larry, conversations I had with the queen I thought were private. One to one conversation I had with her majesty of Buckingham Palace, we spoke for literally three hours. Lot of newspapers say three minutes.

KING: Standing all the time.

BURRELL: We stood in her sitting room.

KING: Why didn't you sit in her sitting room?

BURRELL: She didn't invite me to sit down, so I stood with her and we chatted.

KING: You knew she knew you did nothing wrong?

BURRELL: Yes, absolutely.

KING: You didn't expect her to come forward?

BURRELL: No, I didn't.

KING: Because queens don't do that?

BURRELL: Unprecedented.

KING: Why do you think she did?

BURRELL: Because I felt she really thought at the time this has gone far enough. And she never expected it to go that far. She had to step in. The queen's incapable of telling a lie. She can't tell lies she's a good, kind, Christian lady, fascinating woman. And...

KING: How did you get the news that she revealed it?

BURRELL: My brief, my (UNINTELLIGIBLE), my QC, in the Old Bailey, she said, Paul, it's over and thought...

KING: Where were you?

BURRELL: I was sat in the dark and...

KING: Who knew you was in the court room.

BURRELL: In the court room. He beckoned me to come out of the dark, which is the place you sit surrounded by glass. And I stepped out of the dark and went to him. He said, the queen's stopped the trial. I literally embraced him and cried.

KING: Why suddenly did everyone come down on you?

BURRELL: Because I sold my story to a tabloid newspaper in England.

KING: Why -- that was the "Mirror," right?

BURRELL: "The Dailey Mirror"

KING: Why did you do that?

BURRELL: I had to do that because I had to; a, tell my story. I was denied telling my story because the prosecution had their go. They had two weeks to try and prove me guilty. It was my turn then to tell people why I was innocent. Plus, the amount of money which I received for telling my story replaced the money which I would have earned previous two years when I didn't have an income. I literally...

KING: You were out of work for two years?

BURRELL: I was out of work for two years.

KING: You had a shop though.

BURRELL: I had a small flower shop which had a small income which paid for the small expenses such as paying the phone bill and electric bill. But in that time, there was no money coming in. Maria had to sell some of her jewelry. I had to spend the boy's savings, we cashed in our life policy.

KING: So you needed the money?

BURRELL: We needed the money. To replace our debts.

KING: What happened is, what every other tabloid jumped on you.

BURRELL: They all turned against me.

KING: Were they all offering you money before they turned against you?

BURRELL: They were. But when I was acquitted, the day I was acquitted all the newspapers were for me. The day after I had signed the deal, everyone was against me except the "Daily Mirror." They all offered me money ranging from 50,000 pounds to 2 million pounds. That's $3 million which is a lot of money.

KING: What did you get from the "Mirror"?

BURRELL: I got 300,000 pounds.

KING: Why didn't you take the 2 million.

BURRELL: Because I'd have to sell my soul.

KING: Meaning they wanted what.

BURRELL: They wanted everything. They wanted a lot.

KING: Paul Burrell is our guest, former butler to Princess Diana. We'll be take your calls as well. This is LARRY KING LIVE don't go away.



DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: It was a symptom of what was going on in my marriage. I was crying out for help, but giving the wrong signals. And people were using my bulimia as a coat on a hanger. They decided that was the problem. Diana was unstable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Instead of looking behind the symptom at the cause? What was the cause?

DIANA: The cause was a situation where my husband and I had to keep everything together because we didn't want to disappoint the public, and yet obviously there was a lot of anxiety going on within our four walls.


KING: Why did she give that interview to the BBC?

BURRELL: Because she didn't have a voice. She was trapped inside a palace and she tried to shout out and no one would listen.

KING: Did you know about her bulimia?


KING: How did she manage to stay healthy? Was she throwing up her food?

BURRELL: Yes. That's what happens.

KING: She thought she was fat?

BURRELL: Yes. I aided and abetted. I provided bowls of custard, rice pudding, yogurt. You name it. It was there. KING: To do what with?

BURRELL: Well, because what happens is people eat large amounts of food and then get rid of it. And you know what's going to happen. I knew the symptoms, raiding the fridge. And then I'd follow her into the bathroom and set the towels into the right place.

KING: Were you close enough to tell her maybe you shouldn't do this?

BURRELL: Of course I was. But I wasn't the professional. I wasn't able to help in the professional way.

KING: Did she ever seek professional help?


KING: Never at all, with any of her problems?

BURRELL: It was very difficult for a princess to ask professional advice of anyone. Because, as you know, turns into a story overnight.

KING: You claim that after her death the queen warned you of powers that be in the palace.

BURRELL: That's right.

KING: Lurking and -- what? What?

BURRELL: Not dark forces.

KING: A lot of intrigue. What's going on?

BURRELL: Someone said dark forces it sounds like "Star Wars," doesn't it? It wasn't.

She said that there are forces out there of which we have no knowledge. I think she meant there were people working in the country that -- listening to telephone conversations and watching people all the time. I'm sure they are. I'm sure they're watching this right now, just to make sure that I'm not saying anything I shouldn't be saying, because the world's a very dangerous place, isn't it? You don't think?

KING: I guess, yes. But I mean, what are they worried about?

BURRELL: Well, I suppose they're worried about me saying too much. Because I worked for the royal family.

KING: You know too much?

BURRELL: Well perhaps I do. I don't know that I do because I always...

KING: Did you hold back things from "The Mirror?" BURRELL: Of course I did. Yes. I didn't tell everything. It would take far too long to do that. We would still be running the story now until Christmas probably.

KING: But you knew about her dalliances, right? You knew that she saw other men?

BURRELL: Of course I did. I knew every aspect of her life. And I was there to make sure things happened in the right way. A controlled environment is a much better than one that flies off the handle.

KING: You had to cover for her?


KING: Now, what happened to your shop?

BURRELL: My shop was burned down.

KING: Arson?

BURRELL: Yes, it was arson. The police haven't yet released the report about it, but it was premeditated. Someone actually did go with an intent to burn it down.

KING: Who's mad at you?

BURRELL: Someone is.

KING: The tabloids are jealous because you gave it to one another and not the other.


KING: But who's mad at you? I mean, who...

BURRELL: I think people misunderstand me. People have thought that I have told too many secrets. Actually, I haven't. I told my story. It was my right to tell my story.

The other tabloids, of course, mixed up the mixture. They got a hold of a document which was confidential between me and my legal team and they leaked that to the media. The media used that as a story. It was information which was very private, very personal and only to be used as background.

Remember, my life was on the line. I was going to prison. I could have gone to prison for a very long time.

KING: Why do you have security?

BURRELL: Because...

KING: You travel with security, right?

BURRELL: I do, absolutely.

Mike, my security man, comes with me everywhere I go. Because -- you never know quite who's around the next corner. And he's there to help me through that problem.

KING: You knew that in selling the story, though, you'd be criticized?

BURRELL: Yes, I did.

KING: He's out to take advantage...


KING: ... of a situation that he had privy to?

BURRELL: Yes, I did. But I never expected such a vicious, vindictive attack on me as a person, which would -- I was acquitted of a huge crime: stealing from my princess.

KING: Another guy was just acquitted, right?


KING: Someone -- what was that about?

BURRELL: That was about a similar thing, but nothing to do with my case. He had served the princess previously to me and had allegedly stolen items from her, too. But there was nothing to do with me in that trial. But the problem was, you see, the public linked the two because we're both butlers.

KING: Yes. How do you get along with Charles?

BURRELL: I got along with him very well. He's a very kind generous man. And he looked after us during our time at Highgrove (ph). Every luxury was afforded to us. He rebuilt my little cottage. He built the boys a playroom. He looked after us. He's a very kind man.

KING: What were the boys like?

BURRELL: William and Harry? When I grew up with them and my boys grew up with them in the nursery.

KING: Are they the same age? Your boys?

BURRELL: Similar ages. Mine are 17 and 14. William and Harry are sort of in between.

My boys now have fond memories of living a royal lifestyle. See, we've always lived in that environment. They went everywhere with William and Harry to theme parks, to theaters, to premieres. And so they're sort of used to the media spotlight.

KING: Like them? BURRELL: Do I like them? They're wonderful boys. They're their mother's...

KING: She was a good mother.

BURRELL: Yes. Their mother's true legacy.

KING: Why weren't you with her when she died?

BURRELL: Because every year we took down and we discussed the diary. And I take two weeks off a year.

KING: A diary? You mean her diary?

BURRELL: Her engagement diary.

KING: Her schedule?

BURRELL: Yes. And so, these two weeks in August were my family time to go away with my family. And she would go away to Mediterranean on the boat. Well, she did this year. In '97. And I spoke to her every day on her mobile phone.

KING: Was she in love with Dodi Fayed?

BURRELL: In love? That's a very -- that's a loaded question. She was very fond of him. She was very fond of him. He provided -- wasn't it strange? He provide something which she desperately needed: security.

And that was the one thing that let her down. She had a fun time. She was having a good time. She was with someone that cared for her. And she needed that.

KING: But you're not sure that they would have married?

BURRELL: No, I don't think they would have married.

KING: How did you learn of her death?

BURRELL: I was sat with her PA, Jacqueline Allen (ph). And...

KING: PA is?

BURRELL: Her personal assistant. And we heard from Balmorale (ph) at 3:00 in the morning. In fact...

KING: Somebody called?

BURRELL: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The Brazilian ambassador's wife in Washington at the time, she rang me and said, Paul, there's been an accident. CNN has just reported the fact that princess had an accident in Paris and did I know about it? And I said, No, I didn't know anything. She said, Ring her on her mobile phone. Ring her. You'll find her.

So I did ring her. And it rang and rang and rang. No answer, which was very odd because she always carried that phone with her.

And, in the end we found, that the accident had been fatal. So I flew to Paris immediately to attend to her person.

KING: Were you rocked?

BURRELL: I was. I was severely traumatized by what I saw.

But, you know, I think there should be someone there for everyone at that time. Because there's no dignity in death. And you can't actually take care of yourself. So isn't it a comforting feeling to know there's someone there that can do that for you?

KING: So what role did you play? What did you do?

BURRELL: I looked after her. I took care of her.

KING: Took care of her in death.

BURRELL: As I had in life.

KING: Saw the body?


KING: Attended to the funeral?

BURRELL: Yes. Watched over her. Stayed with her. Kept her safe.

KING: Did you love her?

BURRELL: Course I did. I defy any man to say that they didn't meet her and fall in love with her. She was such an lovely person. She was an egmatic (ph), vibrant, lively person. She was a lovely person.

KING: We'll be back with more of Paul Burrell. We'll be including your phone calls. Don't go away.



PRINCESS DIANA: She'd rung me up ten days before it arrived in the book shops to tell me there was nothing to worry about. And I believed him, stupidly. Then when it did arrive, the first thing I did was rush down to talk to my children and William produced a box of chocolates and said, Mummy, I think you've been hurt. These are to make you smile again. So..

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did your relationship go beyond a close friendship?

PRINCESS DIANA: Yes, it did. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you unfaithful?

PRINCESS DIANA: Yes. I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down.


KING: That book rocked her, huh?

BURRELL: It did.

KING: Did she speak to him again?

BURRELL: No. I always liked James Hewitt. I always thought he was a very nice man. Never expected him to do that. And I remember when that book -- he sent a copy of that book to the princess and I said there's no way you're going to read this.

I took it upstairs and I stood in front of her and tore it. Tore the spine in half and tore each page out of it and shredded it in front of her. I said, You're not going to read this trash. Because people always let her down.

KING: And she never did?


KING: Didn't she play part -- don't you play part in your own disappointments?

BURRELL: Yes, but how disgusting for another human being to actually do that to another. What's between two people is personal and private and love is the most precious thing.

KING: She allegedly taped a conversation with a former Royal servant who claimed to be the victim of a homosexual rape by a close aide to Prince Charles. Whereabouts of that tape is a mystery. Do you know anything about it?

BURRELL: I saw the tape. I knew of the tape's existence. It was mentioned in my trial. I knew that the tape was what it was purported to be because the princess told me.

KING: "Vanity Fair" has a picture. I don't know if you've seen it, we'll put it up. That's the current issue of "Vanity Fair." That's not the picture. That's Carmen Diaz.

There's the picture of Paul and Diana and George Smith. That's George Smith.

BURRELL: That's me. That's a younger me.

KING: What was the George Smith story?

BURRELL: George was a Welsh guardsman.

KING: That's him. BURRELL: Yes that's George. He was a Welsh guardsman (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to the Prince of Wales household.

Apparently that happened by another member of staff while George was with the princess at Kensington Palace. The princess wanted to help George. She was a great one for reaching out and helping people. This was part of the process, the healing process of talking about it.

KING: Didn't that concern her, gay rape?

BURRELL: Of course it concerned her. But it was about two other people. She respected that privacy. George did not want to speak about it at that moment in time. He didn't want anybody to know. He was a married man with children. He was ashamed of it. It was his decision and the princess adhered to that and quite rightly.

KING: Is the palace kind of a crazy place?

BURRELL: It's unusual place. It's a world by itself. It has its own rules and regulations and upstairs-downstairs relations. Life below stairs is just as complicated as life above.


BURRELL: Yes. There are five separate dining rooms for different levels of staff to eat in. It depends on the hierarchy.

KING: How well were you paid?

BURRELL: My first wage was 900 pounds a year. Which is, what, $1500 a year which isn't very much, is it?

KING: What was it at the end?

BURRELL: At the end it was a great deal more because the princess had become a very wealthy lady. The first thing she said when she came into her settlement which some was like 14 million pounds, $20 million, she said -- came through the door and said, First thing I'm going to do is give you a pay raise.

And she did. So I was earning something around about 30,000 pounds, which is $50,000. Which is very good. I was very happy with that.

KING: We'll be back more with more Paul Burrell and we'll be including your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Naomi Campbell tomorrow night. Another British. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Around 1986, again, according to the biography written about by Jonathan Dingleby (ph), he says that your husband renewed his relationship with Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles. Were you aware of that?

PRINCESS DIANA: Yes, I was. But I wasn't in a position to do anything about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What evidence did you have that their relationship was continuing even though you were married?

PRINCESS DIANA: A woman's instinct is a very good one.


Well, I had -- I -- obviously I had knowledge of it.


PRINCESS DIANA: Well, from people who minded and cared about our marriage, yes.


KING: And the obvious is, were you one of those people?

BURRELL: I was one of those people.

KING: That told her.

BURRELL: Well, yes.

KING: How do you tell that to someone?

BURRELL: Well, I found myself in a very difficult position, Larry. I was standing in two camps, a foot in each. Looking after the prince during the week at Highgrove (ph) and the princess at the weekend when she came with the boys. And life wasn't easy.

KING: So you knew he was having a relationship with Camilla?

BURRELL: Yes, I did. Yes.

KING: Why did you tell her?

BURRELL: Well, she already knew. There were other people telling her, too. And, quite frankly, I used to say her, Don't ask me difficult questions. It's so difficult for me. Please don't put me in that position. And she used to say, I know you know everything. I know you know what's going on and you should tell me.

But of course, I couldn't at that stage because I was looking after both the prince and the princess.

KING: But then you did.

BURRELL: Well, because eventually I was only looking after the princess. So I could be honest and true.

KING: Did you know camilla? BURRELL: Yes.

KING: Like her?

BURRELL: Actually, she's a very nice lady. She's a very nice lady.

KING: The main players here are all very nice.

BURRELL: Yes. Well, it's true. It's true. It's human nature. It's life. And the prince made a decision. It's his decision. He decides exactly who he wants to be with. And he will probably decide to get married one day. Why shouldn't he?

KING: They were cheating on each other though, weren't they?

BURRELL: Well -- complicated lifestyles.

KING: I would say.

BURRELL: Very complex and complicated.

KING: By the way, Paul's on the front cover of "Hello" magazine. Did you know that?

BURRELL: Well, I have not seen it. Are you going to show it?

KING: I think we're going to show it. Are we going to show the front cover of "Hello" magazine? There it is. Hello!

BURRELL: Oh, wow.

KING: Now what is -- is "Hello" the "People" magazine of Great Britain?

BURRELL: "Hello" is the widespread magazine in the Britain...

KING: Is it a fair -- is it a good...

BURRELL: It's a good representation of people's lives.

I'm in it this issue with my family because this happened to my family, not just me. My boys, Alex and Nick, said, Dad we want to be there -- we want stand beside you. We want to support you. And my wife stood there with me. And, yes, we are a family. A very loving, caring family.

KING: Are you going to do a book?

BURRELL: Am I going to do a book?

KING: About all this.

BURRELL: Well, about all this?

KING: Yes. BURRELL: I might. I might. Do you think it would sell?

KING: You did a book before but I was -- do I think it would sell? Yes, I'd think it would sell. But you'd have to write -- you'd have to write a book that included what they wanted to give you $2 million for that you didn't want to tell. It would have to be more than you've told.

BURRELL: Yes, and we've already signed that deal about my autobiography before we came in the studio, Larry, didn't we?

KING: You did. Are you going to do an autobiography? Really? Tell us. Break it here tonight.

BURRELL: Never say never.

KING: You'd be interested?

BURRELL: How could you say never? I have had such an incredible life. I've lived two lives in one already. What's in store for me? Goodness knows what's ahead.

KING: Your previous book was in the cookbook area, right?

BURRELL: Yes, it was. It was an entertaining, lighthearted book about recipes and...

KING: Valdosta, Georgia, as we go to calls for Paul Burrell. Hello.

CALLER: What is your happiest memory of Diana?

BURRELL: My happiest memory of the princess. How many? How many? We haven't got all night to talk about it.

KING: Give us one.

BURRELL: One thing.

Do you know the day she was married I was looking after the queen at Buckingham Palace. And she ran down the red carpeted corridor with her train rolled up in a ball like that. She had rolled it up like that. And she was running down the corridor and I could see the diamond tiara flashing. And she was running towards me. And I thought, That is a picture that will always be with me, that picture of pure happiness. That was the happiest day of her life.

KING: She was very much in love with him, wasn't she?

BURRELL: She was. She adored him. She was -- she fell in love with a prince and she became a princess.

KING: Dallas, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Yes. I'm calling because at times, Diana has seemed to be a little bit careless with her life and I wanted to ask Paul where was her family? Why did they not help support her during these times, during her divorce? Why did they not offer their advice?

KING: The Spencers.

BURRELL: Well, unfortunately, the princess' family were like many other families, never around when they were needed. The princess chose her family. She chose the people she wanted to be her family, the people around her. So she chose Rosa Munkton (ph), Lucia Fletcher Delima (ph), myself and people Lord Attenborough (ph), and people like that whom she trusted. They were the people she ran to. They were the people she cared about. And they were the people who gave her advice.

Don't forget that her brother neglected her and would not offer her sanctuary on the family estate at Orthrop (ph). That came out during my trial. He did not want to give her a little cottage on the estate, which is very sad. Most families pull together and live together. It's just a very sad thing.

KING: So his speech, you weren't taken by it?

BURRELL: I wasn't taken by it at all. I just -- I wasn't the only person in Westminster that felt that he was a hypocrite because he hadn't been there. When she needed him most, he turned his back.

KING: There were allegations denied by the palace, that Prince Phillip had sent harsh letters to Diana, calling her a harlot and worse even. True?

BURRELL: Prince Phillip did send letters to the princess. I saw them. They were in the box of secrets. I don't know where they are now.

KING: The box of secrets.

BURRELL: The box of secrets. So, those letters...

KING: He was ticked?

BURRELL: I never saw those words, Larry. I never saw harlot and strumpet and whore or whatever was supposed to be said.

KING: What did you see?

BURRELL: Well, I saw letters from a man who actually wanted to keep the family firm on the road, who wanted to keep things together, who cared. And that's strange because Prince Phillip gets a very bad press.

KING: So they weren't critical?

BURRELL: Well, they were very pointed. And they were letters which were very constructive.

KING: Like a father to a daughter?

BURRELL: Like a father to daughter. And the contents should remain private because they were between two people.

KING: Payson, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, Paul.



CALLER: I was curious, why didn't you get a job other than your floral shop to supplement your income instead of selling your story to "The Mirror"? Wasn't there a confidentiality agreement signed between you and the princess at all?

BURRELL: Do you know I never signed an agreement with the princess? And the day she died, someone came into my office with a piece of paper and said, I think you better sign this. And I said, Do you think, honestly, that I should sign that now? What a cheek. What a source to ask me to sign it now. I've never betrayed the princess. I've only defended myself.

I have never told secrets. I have never told you anything which wasn't already in the public domain. So I defend myself by saying that. My income from the flower shop was small. What could I do? I was standing on trial for stealing princess' possessions in the highest court in the land. So I had to do something which wasn't hugely national. I had to do something which was local. And flowers was something which I knew something about from my previous life. I did all the flowers for princess at Kensington Palace.

So, it seemed to be to be a natural way to earn a living.

KING: Just figured out who you look like.


KING: A young Tony Randall.

BURRELL: Tony Randall.

KING: One of my favorite people.

BURRELL: All right.

KING: We'll be back with more calls for Paul Burrell right after this. Don't go away.



ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF ENGLAND: First I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being, in good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to others. And especially for her devotion to her two boys.


KING: Did she mean that?

BURRELL: Yes, she did. She's a good, kind Christian lady.

KING: Reno, Nevada, for Paul Burrell.

CALLER: Hi, good evening.


CALLER: My question is, have either of Diana's boys contacted you to talk to you about all of these stories about their mother? And did they get to see her after she passed away?

BURRELL: I haven't spoke ton the boys direct. But messages have come to me since my trial. And messages of support from both William and Harry, the prince of Wales, the queen and the royal family. So I look forward to actually seeing them in the near future and taking back some belongings which their mother gave me for safe keeping. I want to shake them by the hand and say, I'm the person you've always known. I'm the person you grew up with. I'm still the same. And the boys really are their mother true legacy to the country. Can't you see it in William's face.

KING: Sevierville, Tennessee. Hello.

CALLER: Mr. Burrell, do you feel that there was a conspiracy to have the princess murdered as Dodi Fayed's father feels?

BURRELL: I don't share the same views as Mr. Al-Fayed. But I do share the view that once the nation was busy grieving the princess, they forgot the fact that Mr. Al-Fayed had lost his son. To lose a child is the most awful thing that could ever happen to you in your lifetime. I don't think there was a conspiracy. I think it was just a tragic accident. And one which we all remember, because we all remember where we were when it happened. Sign of a great person.

KING: London, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Paul. It's a pleasure to speak with you. I was just wondering in your opinion who was Princess Diana's soul mate?

BURRELL: That's a very -- that's a very tricky question, who was her soul mate. I think -- I can't tell you that because that person is very close to me, too. And I would not wish to discuss that any further. But you don't have to guess. Wouldn't take 1 million guesses to guess who that was.

KING: Male, right?

BURRELL: Yes. Other than Mother Teresa.

KING: Someone she deeply loved? BURRELL: Yes,.

KING: Loved when she died?


KING: You say we should know this? Because I don't know who you're talking about. Vancouver, British Columbia.

BURRELL: I have to be very discreet.

CALLER: Hello, Paul. I think you're a very honorable man.

BURRELL: Thank you.

CALLER: I was wondering how you feel now about her brother Charles, the grandstanding at the funeral and what's come out now, how he did treat her.

BURRELL: Well, I always knew how he -- the family respected the princess' life. I always knew what happened behind closed doors so it was no surprise to me. I personally have no wish to ever visit Althorp. Although, you know, that's the resting place of the princess. And it's sad, isn't it, to think one has to pay 10 pound 50, almost $20, to pay your respects to the princess at her family home. When in America you don't have to that with your president. It's there for everyone and everyone can go. Every walk of life can go free. That's as it should be.

KING: Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hello. There have always been rumors that James Hewitt is the father of Prince Harry. Is this true?

BURRELL: That is not true. The princess didn't even know James Hewitt at that time.

KING: So. Lot of rumors.

BURRELL: Just because he's got red hair? Is it? All the Spencer family have red hair. It's one of those things.

KING: I have no idea why -- why is there such incredible interest in the doings of people who by just being born, were suddenly...

BURRELL: We're fascinated.

KING: Would you want to be royalty?

BURRELL: No. Actually not. I want to be anonymous. I don't want to be known. To lose your anonymity is a very precious thing to have, to be able to go anywhere and do anything and see anybody or say anything. You can't when you've lost that. You're trapped.

KING: And our fascination with them must have to do with that? BURRELL: Yes. We are fascinated by them.

KING: No one wants to live there, do they?


KING: You don't want to live there?

BURRELL: No. It's part of what made Britain great. It's part of our fabric, British culture. It is what made Britain great.

KING: Ashville, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry and Paul. I have a question for you. Is there -- was there no one in Princess Diana's life that she could confide in and trust outside of her family?

BURRELL: Well, she had me. She had Luhcia and she had Rosa Monkton. She had those people she chose. Those people were very dear to her because they told her the truth. And although sometimes we tell her the truth and she didn't like it, she always knew it was the truth.

KING: How about her friends in America?

BURRELL: Her friends in America, too. She had many friends throughout America.

KING: What was her biggest fault?

BURRELL: Her biggest fault? Being too generous.

KING: Generous to a fault.

BURRELL: Yes, she gave everything away.

KING: An easy touch.

BURRELL: Yes. What she always said that it's much easier to give than receive because there are no strings attached to giving. And there are too many attached to receiving, which is true, if you think about it.

KING: So easy for a hard luck story?

BURRELL: Yes. And she was betrayed so many times because she was such a famous person. Everyone wanted to know about her. Everybody told their story. Everybody wrote the intimate details and secrets and washed all that down in public.

I've been accused of that. Of course, if you read my story in the "Daily Mirror" in England, you'd know I haven't told anything but the truth. And that wasn't half what I would have said if I had got into the box. Can you imagine being cross-examined by the prosecution about every aspect of 21 years life in a royal palace? I didn't want to go there. I really didn't. KING: But if you do write a book, if you do, you are going to have to go there. That's what the publisher's going to say, that's our interest.

BURRELL: Yes, but money is not the most important thing in life, Larry. It really isn't. I have seen tremendous wealth and fame and all of that royalty behind closed doors. It doesn't bring happiness. People around you that love you bring happiness.

KING: Was it easy for her to have a lover come to see her?

BURRELL: When I was around, yes.

KING: You would be the cover?

BURRELL: I would. I facilitate any meeting which she required.

KING: Would they come through back doors, sneaking around?

BURRELL: In car boots, under blankets, any way I could.

KING: You got a good story. We'll be back with our remaining moments with Paul Burrell and more phone calls. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep moving back, please.


KING: Did you like being part of a mob scene?

BURRELL: It's interesting. For once the police were protecting me, not against me.

KING: Meridian, Connecticut, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, question for Paul. Couldn't Prince Charles have taken charge of where Diana was buried rather than her brother?

BURRELL: Not really, because the Prince of Wales was divorced from the princess so he was no longer part of the family, technically. So by law it had to be the next of kin, which were the spencer family. We all had our views. I thought she should have been buried in London in Westminster Abbey or in a public place where people could come and pay their respects. I think that would have been appropriate, don't you?

KING: I know how good you were in your job, but handling the funeral, seeing the body, must have been...

BURRELL: It was -- I was in duty mode.

KING: No kidding? BURRELL: I did it because I did it for the person whom I cared for for so many years. I did it because it was my duty.

KING: When did you grieve?

BURRELL: I don't think I have. I don't think I ever have.

KING: You're still on duty?

BURRELL: I think I'll always be on duty. If I was Marilyn Monroe's butler I would still be on duty.

KING: Would you want to be a butler again?

BURRELL: I don't think I can because I have lost my anonymity. To do what I did, I had to be unknown.

KING: St. John, New Brunswick, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry, hello, Paul. I'd like to just ask you if you know whatever happened to Diana's engagement ring? She thought an awful lot of that.

BURRELL: I know exactly what happened to her engagement ring. It isn't a secret to tell you this. When the boys were asked what they would like of their mother's possessions, William chose her watch, which she wore every day of her life, and Harry chose her engagement ring because he knew it was so special to his mother.

KING: So he has it?

BURRELL: He has it, yes.

KING: Paramus, New Jersey, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Paul.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: I just want to tell Paul that I think he's a very honorable man. I wonder, every once in awhile, do you think maybe she's smiling down on you and saying, thank you very much?

BURRELL: I'd like to think she's right here right now. Because I think when you go off to wherever you go to, you can be wherever you want.

During my court trial I felt that maybe she just sat behind me giving me the courage to carry on.

KING: What's your most prized possession of hers, something you've kept?

BURRELL: I have got so many things. My -- I suppose a signed photograph with my love. I chose the photograph from a photo shoot and she wrote on it "To Paul with my love. And... KING: How did you wife handle this? The attention you got. The obvious affection you have for Princess Di?

BURRELL: She grew up in the system with me. She was the duke's maid. We married in Royal service, we lived our lives in royal service. She loved the princess, too. She was a princess' dresser for some time. Princess gave her clothes. And, you know, she understood it. Lot of women wouldn't understand it.

KING: You bet. I would bet they'd get ticked.

BURRELL: You see, it was an awful consuming relationship. It was a vocation. Not a life. It was a vacation. A vocation, not a working life. It was so unusual. The queen said to me, No one has been as close to a member of my family as you have, Paul.

KING: What are you going to do with your life, Paul?

BURRELL: I'm going to try to do something which has dignity, style and integrity all rolled into one.

KING: Rebuild the store?

BURRELL: I wouldn't mind bringing the Royal Butler Range to America or the Butler's Pantry or having that little slice of Martha Stewart's pie. I believe she doesn't have a big a pie as she used to have.

KING: Would you like a media career?

BURRELL: I wouldn't mind being a correspondent for CNN in London.

KING: You would like to be our Royal correspondent?

BURRELL: I would. How about that.

KING: I'll have to speak to management. I'd hire you.

BURRELL: I have heard so much rubbish being said about the Royal family and people pontificate about what they're doing. They have no idea.

KING: You'd be fantastic.

BURRELL: And I wouldn't give anything away.

KING: From inside. Thank you, Paul.

BURRELL: Good to speak to you.

KING: Paul Burrell, butler to Princess Di. This will be the first of, we hope, many visits.

I want to just take a moment here before we leave you and let you know in a minute about tomorrow night. To mark in passing the death of Roone Arledge. He was great man in American television. He changed the nature of American television with the way he ran ABC News and the way he presented and gave us Monday Night Football.

Roone Arledge changed the face of American news and forced challenges to everybody in the business who does work. I was honored to have known him, almost went to work for him, considered it a great honor just to be in his presence. He will be sorely missed.

We'll be right back and tell you about tomorrow night.


KING: Tomorrow night another British will join us, the famed model Naomi Campbell, who sued the tabloids, won and then lost and is trying to win again. Naomi Campbell, tomorrow night.


© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.