Princes William and Harry ‘had a secret meeting’ with Diana’s butler Paul Burrell ahead of the Duke of Sussex’s engagement to Meghan Markle, royal source says
William and Harry had a secret meeting with Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell in 2017, according to a royal source.
Paul Burrell, 64, served as a footman for the Queen before working for Diana for 10 years until his death in 1997.
It was previously believed that the Prince of Wales, 40, and the Duke of Sussex, 38, last met the former butler in 1997 after their mother’s funeral.
But according to the sunthe brothers held a secret meeting with Paul at Kensington Palace in 2017, before Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, 41.
The source told the outlet it was a ‘very low-key meeting’ the royals held as they wanted to speak with ‘someone who had been close to their mother’ , and felt that there were aspects of the princess’s life that they believed Paul could clarify for them.
Paul Burrell was Princess Diana’s butler for 10 years until her death in 1997 (photo LR: Princess Diana and Paul in Bosnia in 1997)
“They asked to keep everything secret and he respected that,” the source added.
“Paul was happy to tell them everything he knew and shed some light on their memories.”
The brothers previously accused Paul of ‘cold and manifest treason’ after he published his 2001 book A Royal Duty – which contained a series of private revelations.
Harry wrote about the book in his 2023 autobiography Spare, describing how he learned of the book’s existence while working as an unpaid farm laborer in Australia aged 19 in 2003 after leaving Eton.
He writes that he received a parcel from Buckingham Palace, full of notes from the palace communications team on “a sensitive matter”.
“Mom’s former butler had written a tell-all that said nothing,” he said.
“It was just one man’s self-righteous, self-absorbed version of events.
‘My mother once called this butler a dear friend, trusted him implicitly. U.S. too. Now this.
Prince William and Harry (pictured in Windsor in September 2022) reportedly met Paul Burrell in 2017
“He was processing his disappearance for money. It made my blood boil.
Harry writes that he wanted to go home to ‘confront’ Mr Burrell, but Charles and William talked him out of it, saying all they could do was ‘deliver a united condemnation’.
The Duke also claims he had ‘nothing to do with drafting’ the Clarence House statement and would have ‘gone much further’.
Meanwhile, Paul criticized Harry for some of Spare’s revelations, saying he didn’t recognize who the prince had become.
It was previously believed that the last time the royal brothers spoke to the butler was after their mother’s funeral (William and Harry pictured outside Westminster Abbey at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, September 6, 1997 )
Speaking on Australian breakfast show Sunrise earlier this year, the former butler said: “I first met him in his mum’s womb. I don’t recognize the young man I see today. It’s not the boy I knew.
“What I see now is an angry, petulant, privileged prince who constantly blames others and fails to take responsibility.”
He added that the Duke of Sussex had “fundamentally changed” and that his mother would be “appalled”.
“She would be angry at these personal and vindictive revelations which undermine not only Harry, but also his country, his family, the institution – of which his mother was very proud – and the legacy of his late grandmother,” a- he declared.
Buckingham Palace and Paul Burrell have been contacted for comment.