A Royal Duty

A Royal Duty

4.6 42
by Paul Burrell
     
 

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Diana, the Princess of Wales, was one of the most publicly covered figures in the modern world. Known as "the people's princess," Diana captivated all who knew her. Much has already been written about her life, both professionally and personally, but until now no one has told her story in the way that only one man can-Paul Burrell-whom she described as both "her

Overview

Diana, the Princess of Wales, was one of the most publicly covered figures in the modern world. Known as "the people's princess," Diana captivated all who knew her. Much has already been written about her life, both professionally and personally, but until now no one has told her story in the way that only one man can-Paul Burrell-whom she described as both "her rock" and "the only man I can trust."

Now comes the long awaited book, A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell, the man in whom she confided on matters big and small. Paul, one of the Queen's personal footmen, met Diana during one of her first visits to Balmoral Castle. And while it may have been fate that brought them together, they shared a strong bond that endured to the end of her life. Burrell became Diana's confidant and his unique perspective casts new light on the Princess of Wales and the events that would shape her life and the lives of those around her.

At the time of her death there was much speculation about Diana's future plans including her thoughts about remarrying and the possibility of relocating to America. Paul, who was one of the last people to speak with her, hopes to set the record straight for the Princess he so admired and cherished. Drawing on private conversations, personal recollections, diaries and letters, Paul has written an extraordinary account of a unique time in the history of the Royal Family.

When asked why he wrote the book, this is what Paul had to say. "I have made this book as true to her spirit as possible-as inspiring, as loving, as fun. Over the last six years I've had time to reflect on the extraordinary events that I have witnessed. During that time, I have watched and listened patiently as many individuals have claimed to know the truth about the Princess of Wales. I have watched and listened knowing that what was claimed to be the truth is actually far from it. I decided reluctantly to tell what I know to be the truth because I firmly believe that someone has to stand in the Princess' corner and fight for her now that she cannot do so. I welcome the official inquest into her death and it is my hope that it will uncover what really happened that night in Paris.

I never thought that I would need to write this book but then I never thought that I would need to redress the balance. I never thought that I would need to defend the Princess against untruths from many different quarters. I was devoted to the Royal Family for many years-first to the Queen, then to the Prince of Wales and finally to the Princess and I remain a loyal subject. But I believe that it is important that the truth is known NOW rather than waiting for the details to emerge in official papers when they are released in 25 years."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141018287
Publisher:
Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
Publication date:
06/28/2004

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A Royal Duty 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book written by Diana's butler. I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
When royality objects to a book written by servants or former servants I used to see red flags. Now I wonder at the motive. Personally me thinks it goes beyond oaths of silence and all that sort of thing. When former private secretary Patrick Jephson composed Shadows of a Princess.... it was objected to by the Palace as a betrayal to Diana's memory. But was it? When Paul Burrell wrote A Royal Duty it too met with royal accusations of betrayal. But was it? I question these royal objections simply because 'betrayal' implies the truth has been told but it should not have been because it paints Diana in a bad light. How do we know the information provided by these men is the truth. I often shudder when I read reviews and people write things like balanced, the whole truth, etc. How do they know the information contained in the books is true? Warts make it seem like the truth but who knows? That is why I am skeptical about royal objections. I am equally skeptical about tell-alls by insiders. There is just no proof it is accurate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is well written. It takes you into a world few people have been in and shows tremendous respect for Diana.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Burrell blows his own horn in this book, but then if he doesn't who will? But afterall this was his story. I don't believe Burrell is a bad guy. No where near the monster other authors are painting him to be. Another reviewer stated Diana called him her 'rock' and the 'only man she could trust'. These were Diana's own personal views, so who am I to question her? I believe she would have fired him if he had not been her 'rock'. Nice book to read. I feel for the pain he and his family went through during the trial.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I REALLY enjoyed reading this book. Even the BD (Before Diana)information. Reading about Paul's life as a lad and his years at Buckingham Palace were interesting. Some reviews give the thumbs down in regards to 'I was born....and as a young man....details at the beginning of a book. But without this background, I would wonder who is this person and how did they get their job with the Princess of Wales. So I appreciate the background. Those who judge Diana for testing loyalty, must never have experince dis-loyalty. I have and I can relate to Diana's fears and worries. A true friend should never put someone in a position of 'questioning' if the friendship or loyalty is real. Diana should not have needed to perform 'tests'. Diana was by far my favorite royal. I was concerned with the 'mis-placement' of the mahogany box where Diana kept her 'crown jewels'. What damaging evidence was in there? And whom did it damage?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Diana had her reasons for calling Paul Burrell her 'rock'. Those were her words before she died, not Burrell's self-made opinion. That speaks volumes. Following Diana's death numerous accounts have been written condemning Paul Burrell as a thief, a manipulator, and a spineless wonder before and following the Princess' death. But these are opinions from 'outsiders'. Burrell's boss trusted her butler. Apparently his close friendship with the Princess 'bothered' a number of people. Jealousy or plain contempt seem to be behind these opinions. There seemed to be many who wanted to 'control' the Princess and hated anyone who stood in their way. This was a book about the Princess that I actually enjoyed. I can't say that about most books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Burrell 'seems' genuine but I can't tell for sure. So many books and writers have derided him for this book and even personal attacks. Diana was quoted as referring to him as 'my rock'. So I can only go by her quote. She must have trusted him to call him that. The trial seemed like a nighmare.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is obviously getting under the skin of the royal family, considering the extent pro-royal writers are going to dismiss it or trash it. Paul Burrell's character is also under attack. Diana was lead by her intuition and she believed she was going to be murdered to clear the way for Charles to re-marry. Well Diana IS dead(and under very mysterious circumstances) and Charles has re-married(the mistress of his life and the person Diana told the world was the lady Charles was cheating with). Remmber when Diana first mentioned Camilla's name in regards to an affair with Charles, Diana was accused of being 'mad', 'unstable' and 'paranoid'. Of course we know now Diana's statements was perfectly accurate. This book certainly was an eye-opener in regards to these facts. A must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is absolutely a book to remember I read it in a week could not take my eyes of it, Bravo Mr Burrel for having the guts to say the thrut and by the way I like Queen Elizabeth now thanks to your book, hope Maria and the kids are fine and proud of you. I laughed, Cried and thank you for being so honest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At 18, Paul Burrell left his home in northern England to become a footman at Buckingham Palace. He rose within a year's time to the coveted post of footman to Queen Elizabeth II, a job that he loved and did well. When Prince Charles and Princess Diana offered him employment as the butler for their country home a decade later, Paul accepted only because by then he had a family. His wife wanted the move, so their two small sons could grow up in what she thought would be more suitable surroundings. For some months afterward Paul wondered what he'd gotten himself into. The last thing he expected was that after the Prince and Princess of Wales parted ways, he would wind up as the one person Diana couldn't do without. His title in her separate household was also 'butler,' but that didn't begin to describe the role he came to occupy in the life of his Boss. I picked this book up prepared to be skeptical of its author. By the time I'd finished reading it, though, I found myself convinced that he had told his readers the truth as he knew it. The royals he describes don't come across as idealized - not even Diana, to whom he remained devoted long afer her death. They're real people with their full share of faults. I read their stories, and Mr. Burrell's as it intertwined with theirs, with as much absorption as if I were reading a well-written novel. Fascinating!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, i grew an even deeper love of the late Princess Diana. I learned things about her that would not be publicly known otherwise. Paul Burrell has done a great job and i commend him for his courage to present the truth of what really happened behind the scenes. The book puts Prince Charles in his right place, the scums and sewers. A Royal Duty, in my opinion, honors and reminds people of how magnificent the Princess really was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We know Diana was not an icon. She even did not want that title. But she was every inch a human and every inch a modern princess. A Royal Duty offers a balanced view of the Princess. Unlike most of us, she was world famous. Part of that fame can be credited to the media, but Princess Diana was a working princess. She refused to safely remain behind palace walls day in and day out to be pampered. She wanted to meet the people on the street and make 'a difference'. She did just that and the people that matter most, all loved her. It is unfortunate that the Royal Family still doesn't understand or appreciate all she did to try to refresh the image of a very stale Monarchy. All that Princess Diana was, is nicely captured in this book---A Royal Duty. I just wish Diana could know how much she is missed by the 'people that matter most.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a good book! If you want to read about the People's Princess without a lot of Palace Propaganda when this is the one to read. Mind you it does contain a dash or two of princely propaganda, but certainly no where near the smear campaign offered by other writers. Shows Diana, Princess of Wales as a caring woman. She was a true Princess.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was quite impressed with this book. A five star class act. I've ordered anpother for a gift...excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed the book overall, I couldn't help wondering if this was not a handsome pay back to the Queen for her coming to Paul Burrell's defense at his trial. No book to date has presented the Queen or Prince Phillip in a more favorable light. However I do believe there is a lot of truth concerning the behavior of the Queen and the Duke. The book has a few inconsistences such as the butler's loyalty. Even though he was butler to both the prince and princess at Highgrove, he felt guilty if he answered Diana's questions concerning the prince--guilt that he was betraying his employer. But he felt no guilt when questioned by Charles concerning the princess's movements. Additionally I did not agree that Diana was 'cunning' when she peeked at Highgrove diary in the Butler's Pantry. She was resourceful! She had long suspected the prince was continuing to entertain Camilla behind her back and used the diary to confirm it. Poor girl, what she went through being married to a scoundrel. I admire Diana even more after reading this account. I have read basically everything written concerning the British royalty. From these readings I have gathered that friends and staff do not speak to the media without express consent from the royals. Those who violate this code of conduct are cut off and socially exiled from royal circles. So I find it difficult to believe that Prince Charles' friends could speak so freely about the Princess of Wales without a green light from the prince. Several books have placed the blame for lies and whisperings against Diana at the doorstep of Charles' close friends and staff. But those persons continue to enjoy being in the princes's circle. It is obvious that despite Charles' denial and supposed concerns for his ex-wife's image, that friends and staff spoke with royal permission. Basically a very good book. Plain and simple. You are not likely to find a book closer to the truth than A Royal Duty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Burrell, you are a wonder! What you went through as a 5 star caregiver, I thankyou for the honest account of a person who has made one of the most impacts of our century. Thankyou, for the true insight of the royality life. God Bless you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Royal Duty goes behind the myth and gives the reader the truth of Diana, Princess of Wales. I enjoyed the expose of the Royal Family and late Princess Diana, BRAVO Paul Burrel
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book out of curiosity. When I started it, I thought it was alright but after several more chapters, I began to realize the deep emotional feelings Mr. Burrell expressed. His book about his loyalty to the Royal Family, especially, Princess Diana, was inspiring. To be able to read about her real thoughts through her most loyal friend and butler was a pleasure. It made me have several laughs, serious thoughts, and most importantly, it made me cry. The chapter that struck me most was 'Goodbye, Her Royal Highness.' I found it so emotionally sad that I shed tears for several hours. This is truly a memorable book for Diana fans and people curious about the 'people's princess.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cheers to Paul Burrell for giving his readers a rare look behind the palace doors. Learning of the human, down-to-earth qualities of many of those entrusted to maintain the UK Monarchy was especially interesting. This book is a great work and a superb tribute to the memory of Princess Diana.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I respect Her Royal Highness Princess Diana of Wales more than any other world leader. She gave her life to helping the poor and needy. She was the one princess who cared enough to try and take care of the rest of the world. Her death was the most covered up conspiracy in the history of the world. I do not know who killed her but I hope and pray each day that the person(s) will be found. However, I do not think that it is right and respectful to keep bringing up her death again and again. So I beg of you all to leave it alone, I feel very strong about that. Its a shame that Paul Burrell had to write the truth for people to believe it. So I thank you, Paul, for writing the truth about Her Royal Highness Princess Diana of Wales. She would have made a fine Queen
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe too much has been written about Diana, Princess of Wales since her death. We fans are plainly sick and tired of unfavorable garbage being mass produced about the People's Princess and the Queen of Hearts. There have been many wild and unfounded claims that the Princess was merely a self-absorbed woman. These groundless rumors claim she did everything for self-gain. Paul Burrell shows the world a caring Princess who wanted her charity work to be accepted for what it truly was, and to receive recognition for that work. Isn't that what most of us want? Paul Burrell comes across as a very likable chap. Burrell's accounts of the Princess are positive, just as her many fans want to remember her. Burrell's version(unlike many books) is softer and kinder and does not judge or second-guess the Princess' motives behind her work. How a story is told can make or break a person's character. Burrell seems truly interested in showing Diana in a positive light. I always supected there was a PR movement to sell Camilla to the public, and Burrell confirmed my beliefs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the book Diana deserved. The Princess of Wales would have been proud and touched. Diana always wanted the truth to be told about her, and Paul Burrell has proven he is still her friend and 'rock'. I believe this book is a must read. Not only for Diana fans but anyone who wants a first-hand, behind-the-scenes account of the Princess, the Queen and Prince Phillip. I am happy to learn that the Queen and Phillip were supportive in-laws, in their own way. And it was touching the way the Queen came to Paul Burrell's defense during his horrible trial. She was making a public statement for the man who had loyally served her and her ex-daughter-in-law. I admire the Queen even more now. There has not been a shortage of anti-Diana books written since her death. At last, a pro-Diana book. It is truly beautiful. Best of luck Paul, Maria and family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Personally, I believe this is the truth as best as Paul Burell can tell it. I am so glad he wrote this book, and I am so glad he didn't reveal HRH Diana's deepest secrets. It is actually a shame he came to a time in his life that he felt compelled to write this at all. He should never have been put in the position he found himself after HRH's death. Shame on the prosecution! But thank you Paul for standing up for yourself and HRH Diana. I highly prize this book in my 'Royal Collection'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't wait to read 'the butler's' story- the book written by the man Diana called 'my rock.' Now I have read the book- and she remains an enigma. Certainly, as he describes his time as her butler I get a sense of her day-to-day life, but he leaves a lot unsaid. (For example, he does not mention Barry Manakee, who Diana believed was killed intentionally.) He did not do enough research into the years before he was her butler. One example: in describing her life in BP prior to her marriage, he mentions that her wedding dress had to be 'nipped' in several times 'because she was dieting.' To be sure, that is what everyone thought at the time, but we all know now that she was already suffering from bulimia. He even goes on, on the next page, to describe her eating 'dollops of home-made ice cream' or spoonfuls of bread and butter pudding...bowls of cereal.' Hardly a weight loss diet.More than anything he seemed to be defending his own position. Well written.Worth buying.