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  #1  
Old 01-07-2004, 06:44 AM
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Run-up to the inquest into Diana's death

I'll sue, says Burrell as Charles is identified
By Tom Leonard, Media Editor
(Filed: 07/01/2004)


The Daily Mirror was attacked by the former royal butler Paul Burrell after it published a letter in which Diana, Princess of Wales named Prince Charles as the "senior Royal" who she believed wanted to kill her.

The letter, written by her to Mr Burrell 10 months before her death, was included in his book, A Royal Duty, but the crucial passage was previously blanked out by the publishers, Penguin, and the Mirror, which serialised the work.

Yesterday, the newspaper revealed that the letter read: "This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous - my husband is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry."

The paper admitted that the allegation would seem "utterly preposterous to many people" and Piers Morgan, its editor, said later that he believed the Princess's death was an accident.

However, he defended his decision to identify Prince Charles, arguing that as the coroner had approached Mr Burrell for the uncensored letter, the information was bound to come out anyway.

Mr Burrell said he was consulting lawyers about possibly suing the newspaper.

Speaking outside his home in Farndon, Cheshire, Mr Burrell told Sky News: "I'm not happy about it. I only learned about it late last night and it was always my intention never to publish that name."

Clarence House refused to comment on the letter, possibly revealing a reluctance to say anything that would reflect badly on the Princess. However Colleen Harris, Prince Charles's former press secretary, dismissed the claim as "absolute nonsense" and "unbelievable".
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2004, 09:40 AM
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I have a question that is sort of related to this article: If Paul Burrell was in possession of this letter in the weeks and months following the accident that pointed the finger at Charles as a suspect in the least, why did he not come forward with it to authorities who were investigating the accident? Might this little factoid or suspicion/fear by Diana have been an important lead for investigators to follow up on in order to determine if Diana and Dodi's death was an accident or intentional?
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2004, 10:54 AM
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"Might this little factoid or suspicion/fear by Diana have been an important lead for investigators to follow up on in order to determine if Diana and Dodi's death was an accident or intentional?"

Good point. Mr. Burrell's true motives have been just revealed I guess. Waiting for the book to be finished. Or he is really concerned about Diana's privacy. There was the court case about another butler stealing things. Maybe Diana had told Paul and some of the people working for her to protect her after she is "gone", since she wrote that she felt that she might be dead sooner than later, and to guard over her things and to wait a certain amount of time or not tell anybody that they were in possession of such personal items. All speculation. But I wonder what his motives were in holding onto the letter if, indeed, she truly believed what she wrote. Of course, the ex-husband or husband is always the first one police suspect in such a situation. It's up in the air for me.
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Old 01-07-2004, 07:07 PM
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There was an interview on Australian television last night with royal biographer Robert Lacey. He indicated that the letter has been quoted out of context and is, in fact, details of Diana's conversations with her astrologer and a record of her own fears.

But, of course, that wouldn't fit in with Mr Burrell's self serving motives???
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2004, 07:27 PM
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Interesting story wymanda.

I just don't know what to make of Paul Burrell. At times he seems like Princess Diana's biggest supporter/ally/friend and faithful servant, and at other times, as wymanda pointed out, he seems like a selfish, self-serving, greedy individual who is out to make mega bucks because of his royal connection.

I tend to think, more often than not, that Paul Burrell is more interested in cashing in on his royal relationship with Diana. Maybe I am naive, but I would hope that a true supporter/ally/friend and faithful servant would not go running to the press time and time again, write books or give interviews, etc.
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2004, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexandria@Jan 7th, 2004 - 7:27 pm
Maybe I am naive, but I would hope that a true supporter/ally/friend and faithful servant would not go running to the press time and time again, write books or give interviews, etc.
I believe that at least those hired by the Queen has to sign a contract that they won't do those things. After the nanny of Princess Elizabeth & Princess Margaret published a book about them the Royal family of Great Britain have sought to protect themselves against these kinds of things. (I think Crawfie was the nickname of someone trusted who turned on them, after the nanny.)
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2004, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by norwegianne@Jan 9th, 2004 - 5:28 pm
I believe that at least those hired by the Queen has to sign a contract that they won't do those things. After the nanny of Princess Elizabeth & Princess Margaret published a book about them the Royal family of Great Britain have sought to protect themselves against these kinds of things.
That seems logical. If Michael Jackson has everyone who comes near him sign confidentiality agreements, why wouldn't/shouldn't the Queen, right?

But why wouldn't the same protection be extended to Diana? Didn't Burrell start working for her while she was still married to Prince Charles? And even if he was hired on after the divorce, wouldn't the palace still want to protect Diana's privacy. Not necessarily for her sake, but as Princes William and Harry would be spending a lot of time with her at her home (and by extension with Burrell), wouldn't the palace sought to protect their privacy, too?
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2004, 06:43 PM
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From Hello!

9 JANUARY 2004

Prince William has called off a meeting with Princess Diana's former butler, after one of his mother's private letters found its way into the tabloid press. He had requested the meeting with Paul Burrell after the controversial publication of the royal servant's memoirs last year.

The Prince apparently hoped to win a pledge from his mother's one-time confidante that he would not make any more damaging revelations. It seems he changed his mind, however, because he feared Burrell would only use the meeting to make more money.

His new decision comes after the publication of a letter in which Diana voiced her fear that Prince Charles was plotting to kill her. After his 2002 trial at the Old Bailey collapsed, Paul Burrell said he would never betray his former employer's trust. He subsequently wrote a book containing intimate secrets and damaging revelations about the royal family, however.

"There is a limit to how many times Burrell can swear he is taking Diana's secrets to the grave and then reveal them a few days later," said a source close to the royals.

According to newspaper reports, Prince Charles and Prince Harry were both staunchly opposed to William's plans for a face-to-face with Mr Burrell. Prince Philip, meanwhile, said that any meeting with the former royal servant would "dignify his treachery".
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2004, 06:47 PM
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"But why wouldn't the same protection be extended to Diana? Didn't Burrell start working for her while she was still married to Prince Charles? And even if he was hired on after the divorce, wouldn't the palace still want to protect Diana's privacy. Not necessarily for her sake, but as Princes William and Harry would be spending a lot of time with her at her home (and by extension with Burrell), wouldn't the palace sought to protect their privacy, too? "

Good points. I would have thought that an agreement would have be signed for the princes. Bravo to William. Don't dignify him with a meeting. Scandal-monger.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2004, 07:02 PM
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I agree Dennism. Whatever the motives of Paul Burrell are, I think William would have simply added fuel to the fire by meeting him..
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2004, 08:51 PM
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I do not think P. Charles is responsible for the deaths of Diana and Dodi. I sincerely hope that he is not. However, I hope P. William and Harry learn a valuable lesson from all this. Whatever is done in secret will one day be brought to light. I hope Willam and Harry think wisely before they do anything. I hope they will be kind to whomever they choose to be their wives. The media will not allow Charles to forget how badly he treated Diana. While Diana was no saint, I'm sure Charles is regretting having been so cruel to her. I have never seen an heir to the throne anywhere so maligned.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2004, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluetortuga@Jan 9th, 2004 - 8:51 pm
I'm sure Charles is regretting having been so cruel to her. I have never seen an heir to the throne anywhere so maligned.
Does anyone ever think about the trauma that Diana's fragile state of mind put Charles through?? Also, what damage did she do to William by pouring all of her woes and delusions onto him??
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2004, 09:44 PM
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Charles should have never married her if he didn't love her. Supposedly he was still carrying on with camilla. For goodness sake if at 20 I discover that my new husband still carried a torch for his old flame I would have been devastated. :(
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2004, 10:12 PM
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This article just about sums it up for me...

It's from The Mirror..

IT'S NOT hard, given his propensity for moodiness, to imagine how Prince Charles must feel today.

Persecuted, forlorn, embittered and no doubt protesting, as always, that he's a misunderstood victim of circumstances.

Even Shakespeare, at his finest, would have been hard pushed to conjure up anything quite so dramatic as the fate that's befallen the Prince of Wales.

As a morality tale it takes some beating.

From beyond the grave the Prince's estranged wife, Diana, returns to haunt him via Paul Burrell. Her butler has, in his possession, a letter written a few months before her death revealing her darkest fears.

Her husband, she claims, wants to do her in. His modus operandi, Diana explains, is a car accident. Ten months later she's killed when the Mercedes she is travelling in with lover, Dodi Fayed, crashes in Paris.

Whichever way you look at it, the picture for Charles is bleak. Because, absurd though the allegation may seem, there will be millions who really don't see it as far-fetched at all. Why would they?

For six-and-a-half years her death has raised more questions than answers and it's only now, prompted by media furore and the need to quell conspiracy theories, that an inquest has been launched in Britain.

Even if the letter, which Diana called her insurance, is the product of a fevered imagination, it still begs the question as to why she felt so utterly petrified for her life, and terribly vulnerable.

As a columnist, you get to recognise the hallmarks of a nutter but this letter isn't written in green ink nor are her words the meandering thoughts of a complete madwoman. If Prince Charles meant her no ill, she patently didn't believe it.

"I have cried," she wrote in the damning note, "more than anyone will ever know". No wonder. Emotionally fragile, devastated at losing her HRH status and desperately lonely, her ex did nothing to offer her protection or comfort. Instead, his Byzantine court curried favour with him by promoting rumours that his ex-wife was mentally unstable, erratic and a neurotic attention-seeker. There was a market in anti-Diana stories and, if Charles was aware of the trade, he did little to halt it.

She was followed by MI5, her telephone bugged and boyfriends monitored.

Bluntly, Diana was left to hang out to dry. Charles repeated this policy by ignoring Paul Burrell's pleas for help.

Had he acted to prevent the butler from being dragged through a ludicrous Old Bailey trial, it's unlikely Burrell's book or the letter would have seen the light of day.

So if this week Prince Charles feels trapped, cornered, more than a little paranoid and worried about his future, my abiding thought is that it serves him right.

Diana would call it karma, though most of us would simply say you reap what you sow. Right now Charles has a harvest of misery, all of it self-inflicted.

He betrayed a beautiful wife for a woman who mothers him but will never be what he wants, a much-loved Queen.

In the past year, he's been exposed as a weak man who presided over a shambolic court at St James's Palace where gifts were flogged and bullying was rife.

This week we discover he was the most popular hit on Google internet searches in 2003. None of them, alas, prompted by interest in his wellbeing but by the alleged palace romps of a sexual nature.

Even his once-trusted PR, Mark Bolland, has served up intimate tittle-tattle, albeit sugar coated. All of this can only drive him into deeper despair.

Crown jewels apart, one suspects what Prince Charles truly craves is respect.

What a shame no one told him that, unlike the crown, it's not a divine right but something even the richest, most remote and fawned-over man on earth must earn.
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:15 PM
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"He betrayed a beautiful wife for a woman who mothers him but will never be what he wants, a much-loved Queen."

Has he said that this is what he wants? I think more than anything he wants a woman who love him no matter what.
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:18 PM
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The Royal who hires you is responsible for insisting that you sign the agreement, not the Palace as a whole. There was an agreement in place when C & D were together (hence the housekeeper scandal which could have landed her in court). But after the separation, it was Diana's responsibility to insist that her staff sign the agreements. Either she didn't do that, or they don't think it counts now that she's dead. Jephson signed an agreement, but, according to him, now that Diana's dead, he's not bound to hold to it. No one knows whether Burrell signed one for Diana.
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2004, 10:21 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up, Kelly.
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2004, 10:31 PM
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I just feel sorry for William and Harry.
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:35 PM
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No problem, Dennism.

The problem that I have with the agreements being between two individuals (the Royal and the staff member) is what's popping up now.

Because the housekeeper's agreement was with Charles and Diana, either could sue for breach of contract. When she tried to sell her story in Scotland a year or so ago (he got an injunction forbidding her from selling it in England and Wales in the 1990s), he had to go to court again to sue her in Scotland. He's still able to enforce the agreement, even though Diana's gone.

But because Jephson's agreement was between himself and Diana, can Diana's heirs sue him on her behalf for his flouting of the agreement? Apparently not, or I think they would have done/threatened it. So once that Royal dies, their staff have free rein to write anything.

If the agreement was between the Royal Family (as a whole) and the staff member, the agreement could be enforced even after the Royal employer dies, because the staff would have agreed not to betray any of the Royals. It would allow Diana's heirs to do something to stop some of these stories coming out. I don't think they're going to move to that, but perhaps they should.
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:37 PM
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I feel awful for W & H. Not only do they have their mother being dragged out again, but they have their father under suspicion for arranging her death. And they keep having to deal with the betrayals. They have to feel they can't trust anyone right now.
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