November 6, 2002
An interview published in today’s Daily Mirror casts an entirely new light over Britain’s Royalty and members of its aristocracy.
Last Friday the case against Princess Diana’s butler, Paul Burrell, was abandoned in disarray. Burrell had been charged with theft from Diana’s estate but charges were dropped at the last minute after the Queen intervened. Her intervention came just before Burrell was due to take the witness stand and testify. Had he done so he would have revealed that he told the Queen that he was taking some of Diana’s possessions into his care for safekeeping.
The two met and talked in private for three hours following Diana’s death. “I felt it was my duty to tell her what I had witnessed and what my intentions were”, he told the Mirror.
From a doorway Burrell says that he had seen Diana’s mother, Mrs Francis Shand Kidd, shredding her daughters personal papers and notes.
“What I had witnessed was, in my opinion, an attempt to erase part of the princess’s life and change history. I had seen her mother shredding great volumes of Diana’s personal letters which the princess had kept safe.
“This was being done by a woman who the princess had refused to talk to or correspond with for six months and not four, as she said in court.
“I really felt that if the princess had wanted any documents destroyed, she would have destroyed them herself with that shredder.
“I felt that it was my duty to protect those documents and keep them safe.”
Despite the Queen’s late intervention in his case, which forced him to endure nearly two years as an accused thief, he still holds her in high regard.
“She is not one for public displays of emotion but she does hurt inside like the rest of us do. The poison that Diana faced did not come from the Queen”, he says, “Diana knew that when she died, the Queen was not one of her enemies.”
However Diana did have other enemies and when Burrell met with the Queen, to explain why he was safeguarding Diana’s papers, she warned him. “Be careful Paul, nobody has ever been closer to a member of my family than you were to Diana. There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge.”
According to Burrell: “She did not quantify but told me to be careful. She looked at me over her half rimmed spectacles as if she expected me to know the rest. She fixed me with her eye and made sure I knew she was being deadly serious.”
The interview also reveals Burrell as something of an innocent abroad. In response to her warning he says: “I had no idea what she was talking about. There were many she could have been referring to. But she was clearly warning me to be vigilant.”
Quotes from the Daily Mirror November 6, 2002.
Last updated 12/02/2003