The late Princess Diana would be “heartbroken” by the rift between her two sons, it has been claimed. Paul Burrell – who was the princess’ butler and confidante for 10 years until her death in 1997 – thinks it is “desperately sad” that relations between Princes William and Harry have broken down and thinks their mother would have been distraught to see the “division” between them.
He said: “It’s just so desperately sad that Harry and William are clearly so detached – both emotionally and geographically. “William will be reeling over how things have turned out. “And Diana would be absolutely heartbroken that it’s come to this… this division between them.” Though he thinks Diana would have backed Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in their decision to quit royal life and move to America, Paul doesn’t think it’s right to compare the two women’s experiences, insisting his former boss had things far more difficult.
He said: “There are some similarities in that both Meghan and Diana clearly had tension and issues within the royal family – both were strong women who wanted to stand their ground. “Diana would be proud that Harry and Meghan decided to leave and pave a new way for themselves. “But that’s where it ends. Meghan has a tiny fraction of what Diana went through. She was in the royal family for 20 months; Diana had it for 16 years!
“Meghan had it far easier than Diana did. “On her first royal engagement, the Queen attended with Meghan and showed her the ropes. “At 36, Meghan knew what she was getting into – Diana didn’t as a teenager. The royals welcomed Meghan with open arms – with Diana they didn’t.” Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired this week, but Paul claimed Diana herself rejected an approach from the media mogul in favour of her famous tell-all chat with ‘Panorama’ host Martin Bashir.
He told Closer magazine: “Oprah came to Kensington Palace in 1995. “She wanted to secure an interview with Diana, and while Diana loved having her for tea, she didn’t want to go down that path. “She politely declined and did BBC ‘Panorama’ instead. “‘Oprah’ was an American commercial chat show – Diana knew that if she was going to do an interview, she wanted to be taken seriously and do it on British soil.”