Prince Charles’ no-holds barred letter blasting Paul Burrell is revealed 20 years later: Future King’s 2002 note accusing Diana’s butler of ‘exercising pathetic vendettas in public’ is set to fetch £2,000 at auction

  •  Charles was writing to Miss Majorie Dawson, the maid and dresser to the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra
  • Sent letter in November 2002, after Burrell had gone on trial charged with stealing Diana’s possessions 
  • Trial collapsed part-way through after the Queen recalled that Burrell said he was keeping some possessions
  •  Charles laments the ‘ghastliness’ of the whole episode in his letter to Miss Majorie Dawson

A no-holds-barred letter by Prince Charles slamming Princess Diana’s controversial butler Paul Burrell has come to light 20 years on.

The Prince of Wales lashes out at ‘people like Burrell’ about whom he says he had shown ‘every consideration over the years’.

He rails against Royal household staff who ‘exercise their pathetic jealousies and vendettas in public’ in the November 2002 letter.

Weeks earlier, Burrell had gone on trial on theft charges relating to 310 of items worth £4.5m that had belonged to the late Princess of Wales.

But the Old Bailey trial collapsed part-way through after the Queen recalled that Burrell had told her he was keeping some of Diana’s possessions.

The court heard claims that Prince Charles was a ‘pampered prince’ with teams of servants waiting on him, including one to squeeze his toothpaste.

Charles laments the ‘ghastliness’ of the whole episode in his letter to Miss Majorie Dawson, who was the personal maid and dresser to Princess Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin, for 36 years.

He also criticises the ‘media circulation war’ for offering ‘vast sums of money’ to staff members.

The four-page handwritten letter, which is being sold by a collector, is tipped to sell for £2,000 with London-based Chiswick Auctions. 

Burrell, 64, served as a footman for the Queen and later butler to Diana for 10 years until her death in 1997. 


A no-holds-barred letter by Prince Charles slamming Princess Diana’s controversial butler Paul Burrell has come to light 20 years on. Writing to Miss Majorie Dawson, who was the personal maid and dresser to Princess Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin, the Prince of Wales lashes out at ‘people like Burrell’ about whom he says he had shown ‘every consideration over the years’

Prince Charles’s letter in full to the maid of the Queen’s cousin

‘Dear Marjorie, 

‘Bless you for taking the trouble to write as you did in the wake of all the ghastliness that has being going on! 

‘I find it utterly incredible, as I have done nothing but show people like Paul Burrell every consideration over the years. 

‘Unfortunately we are now to be treated as mere pawns in a terrifying and ongoing media circulation war where the actual facts are totally disregarded and vast sums of money are offered as bribes to former and current members of staff to exercise their pathetic jealousies and vendettas in public. 

‘One member of staff has been offered a total of £5 millions by the newspapers in recent weeks.

‘The thought of what the future holds fills me with complete dread…

‘Have a lovely May with our darling cousin!

‘Lots of love, Charles’  

Charles writes on November 29, 2002: ‘Bless you for taking the trouble to write as you did in the wake of all the ghastliness that has being going on!

‘I find it utterly incredible, as I have done nothing but show people like Paul Burrell every consideration over the years.

‘Unfortunately we are now to be treated as mere pawns in a terrifying and ongoing media circulation war where the actual facts are totally disregarded and vast sums of money are offered as bribes to former and current members of staff to exercise their pathetic jealousies and vendettas in public.

‘One member of staff has been offered a total of £5 millions by the newspapers in recent weeks.’

Valentina Borghi, specialist at Chiswick Auctions, said: ‘It is rare to find a letter from Prince Charles which is so open about his feelings.

‘It was a difficult time for the Royals and I believe he was pretty upset when he wrote this letter.

‘We are used to a much calmer version of Prince Charles, so he must have been very hurt when so many people he thought he could trust were willing to make money by selling private facts about his family.’

Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, while Burrell released a tell-all memoir, A Royal Duty, in 2003.

It led to a rift with Buckingham Palace, with Prince William and Prince Harry calling the book a ‘cold and overt betrayal’ of their late mother.

In a 2003 statement unprecedented for its strength of feeling, William, then 21 and also speaking on behalf of his younger brother, showed his deep pain at Mr Burrell’s revelations in his tell-all book.

The Princes said the late Diana, Princess of Wales, would have been ‘mortified’ at his actions if she were alive today and called on him to put an end to his disclosures.

Burrell, 64, served as a footman for the Queen and later butler to Diana for 10 years until her death in 1997. Above: The pair in Bosnia in August 1997 


The four-page handwritten letter, which is being sold by a collector, is tipped to sell for £2,000 with London-based Chiswick Auctions

Prince William said in the statement released by Clarence House: ‘We cannot believe that Paul who was entrusted with so much could abuse his position in such a cold and overt betrayal.

‘It is not only deeply painful for the two of us but also for everyone else affected and it would mortify our mother if she were alive today and, if we might say so, we feel we are more able to speak for our mother than Paul’.

Burrell made millions from the claims he made in his books about his life with Diana and also secured lucrative deals on reality shows such as I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Among Burrell’s statements was a claim that Diana feared for her life and spoke of a plot to tamper with the brakes of her car before she died in 2003. 

Burrell is seen with Princess Diana in Bosnia-Herzegovina in August 1997 during her campaign to raise awareness about the devastating effects of landmines


Prince Charles and Diana are seen posing for a photo in 1983, two years after they got married. Charles is seen right in the gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh last month

Weeks before Charles sent his letter, Burrell had gone on trial on theft charges relating to 310 of items worth £4.5m that had belonged to the late Princess of Wales. But the Old Bailey trial collapsed part-way through after the Queen recalled that Burrell had told her he was keeping some of Diana’s possessions

Burrell made millions from the claims he made in his books about his life with Diana and also secured lucrative deals on reality shows such as I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Above: Burrell appearing on Good Morning Britain

He also alleged that Diana’s mother, Frances Shand Kydd, called her a ‘wh***’ for dating Muslim men – heart surgeon Hasnat Khan and Dodi Fayed, who was killed alongside her in 1997.

Burrell claimed Diana was told: ‘That’s what you are. I’ve raised a wh***, who**** around town with Muslim men.

‘You should be ashamed of yourself.’ Diana was sobbing, saying ‘Mummy, please don’t say those words to me.

‘Please don’t call me those names.’ She begged her. She kept begging her not to say it.’

After the tirade Diana apparently pulled back from her relationship with her mother, and shortly afterwards she was killed in the car crash in Paris in 1997.

How Paul Burrell became the ‘only man’ Princess Diana trusted before he ‘betrayed’ her with tell-all book 

Paul Burrell entered Royal Service at age 18 as a Palace footman and became the Queen’s personal footman a year later.

He joined Prince Charles and Diana at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire in 1987 and remained there until her death in August 1997.

Burrell was the only non-family member to be present at Diana’s private burial at the Spencer estate Althorp.

In 1993 she wrote a letter to him that claimed the Prince of Wales was plotting to kill her so he could marry Tiggy Legge-Bourke, the former nanny to Princes William and Harry.

Mr Burrell wrote two tell-all books after Diana’s death – A Royal Duty in 2003 and a follow-up book called The Way We Were in 2006 – in which he claimed she had called him ‘the only man I can trust’. Pictured: Burrell posing with a copy of The Way We Were

The note was shown at the inquest into her death and was sent to Burrell in October – 10 months after her separation from Prince Charles was announced.

Burrell wrote two tell-all books after her death – A Royal Duty in 2003 and a follow-up book called The Way We Were in 2006 – in which he claimed she had called him ‘the only man I can trust’.

It is believed the Princess of Wales entrusted him with her private papers during her divorce.

He said: ‘She was surrounded by the richest, most educated people and she chose a lorry driver’s son from Derbyshire.

‘She called me her rock and I took care of her.’

But Princes William and Harry would later accuse him of betraying the mother they loved so much.

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