The Way We Were: Remembering Diana

The Way We Were: Remembering Diana

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by Paul Burrell

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Paul Burrell served Diana, Princess of Wales, as her faithful butler from 1987 until her death in 1997. He was much more than an employee: he was her right-hand man, confidant, and friend whom Diana herself described as "the only man she ever trusted." Featuring previously unseen interior photographs and remarkably intimate details, The Way We Were flings


Paul Burrell served Diana, Princess of Wales, as her faithful butler from 1987 until her death in 1997. He was much more than an employee: he was her right-hand man, confidant, and friend whom Diana herself described as "the only man she ever trusted." Featuring previously unseen interior photographs and remarkably intimate details, The Way We Were flings open the doors to Kensington Palace, leading readers deep inside the private world of Princess Diana—room by room, memory by memory. Marking the tenth anniversary of the princess’s death, Burrell has penned a faithful and poignant tribute to "the boss"—capturing as never before her vivacity and love of life, her style, her fashion, and her heart.

Some images that appeared in the print edition of this book are unavailable in the electronic edition due to rights reasons.

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The Way We Were

Remembering Diana

By Paul Burrell

William Morrow

Copyright © 2006

Paul Burrell

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-06-113895-9

Chapter One

The gold Yale key turned in the lock, and my stomach lurched
as the back door of Kensington Palace opened.

I stepped inside and walked forward, as the heavy black door
slammed behind me, sending an echo throughout the emptiness
that lay ahead. It was as dark and gloomy as ever in that part
of the palace so I flicked the light switch. Nothing happened.
The bulb must have blown, I thought.

Then I looked up to the ceiling and saw that the entire light
fixture had been ripped out, leaving only dangling wires. I
walked on, my footsteps echoing, to what had been the engine
room of the 'home' I called KP, where tradesmen, staff and
deliverymen had once busied themselves. I was in the middle of
the lobby, once filled with the buzz of the refrigerator, the
whirr of the ice-making machine, the swish of the dishwasher,
the chatter of people coming and going. Now there was a void.
The mail pigeon-holes were empty; black garbage bags, empty
drawers and chairs lay about, discarded. KP looked as if it
had been ransacked by thieves. Apartments 8 and 9 had been
reduced to a shell, there wasn't a single hook for my

It was 2002, and I had gone back to the apartments of Diana,
Princess of Wales for the first time since I had left them in
July 1998 when,even then, they were being emptied. Fine
furniture was transferred to the Royal Collection. Jewellery
was returned to Buckingham Palace. As the family was entitled
to do, Princes William and Harry and the Spencer family had
taken some items, and the Crown Estates had reclaimed the
property. On the day I moved out, 24 July 1998, the apartments
were being stripped. It was too painful for me to witness. I
wanted to leave with a mental picture of what had been,
dismissing the reality of what was taking place.

In the ensuing four years I steered clear of the palace.

I never imagined I'd ever see the day when I'd need to go
back. I didn't want to go back. But it became necessary to
return 'home' when Scotland Yard and the CPS charged me with
theft from the boss's estate-the system's response to my
spontaneous protection of her legacy. In preparation for my
Old Bailey trial, which ended in acquittal in 2002, I had to
walk my legal team through the palace to build up a picture of
what life, and my role, had been like.

That day, accompanied by my barrister Lord Carlile, QC, and
solicitor Andrew Shaw, I steeled myself for what I knew I
would see-the dismantling of the princess's world had long
been complete. But I was still unprepared for the devastating
scene of erasure and decay that confronted me when I walked up
the main staircase, then went from room to room. Each had been
stripped with a disregard that said everything about how the
princess had been treated in life.

Nothing had been respected. Workmen had moved in, ripping up
carpets, tearing down the silk wall panels that had decorated
the drawing room and sitting room, leaving the doors of fitted
cupboards hanging off their hinges. Even plug sockets had been
removed. There were horizontal gaps where the odd floorboard
had been pulled up and left propped against a wall. Newspapers
were scattered on the floor. A blue mattress was propped
against one wall. Junk lay everywhere. And it was dirty. It
seemed that the place hadn't been cleaned in the four years
since 1998. A layer of dust covered the once polished
banisters, giant cobwebs were spun round grubby cornices, and
the air was musty. A once pristine home was now as dark and
unhealthy as Charles Dickens had depicted Satis House in Great

Those with no reason to care about the princess's world, and
the devastation I saw, might have shrugged and said, "Well,
she's dead. It's time to move on. Who cares?" But moving on
shouldn't mean forgetting.

I could have cried as I walked round those rooms. It was a
stark illustration of how quickly some people had wanted to
forget her, how eager some people were to remove every vestige
of her.

It also represented a lost opportunity. A potential museum of
memories had been wrecked.

After Princess Margaret's death in 2002, the administration of
her home, Apartment 1A, was transferred to the care of
Historic Royal Palaces so that part of her living quarters
could be viewed for educational and exhibition purposes.
Today, although the place has been stripped of its furniture,
the public has the chance to visualize Princess Margaret's
life, and study the photographs of her. Would it not have been
possible to do the same with Apartments 8 and 9 five years

Also, when the Queen Mother died in 2002, the Prince of Wales
ensured that there was a fitting tribute to his grandmother:
he arranged for the World of Interiors magazine to photograph
the inside of her home to show how she had lived; to capture
her way of life, her tastes and style, for posterity. It was
published in October 2003.

That is why I've decided to share with you my photographs,
taken inside Apartments 8 and 9.

I took them, with my own camera, in the weeks after the
princess's death, for purely sentimental reasons-to preserve
what had been a special place to me. They also catalogued the
precise location of her possessions, which was useful to me in
my role as guardian of her world.

Over the years, the photographs have been a comfort, and have
helped me remember details and moments that might have blurred
with time. Many people from around the world have written to
me, or asked me face to face, what life was like with the
boss, how she lived, and what her inner sanctum really looked
like. Well, the photographs in this book provide the answer;
you will enjoy a virtual tour of Apartments 8 and 9. They show
the rooms as she left them.


Excerpted from The Way We Were
by Paul Burrell
Copyright © 2006 by Paul Burrell.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Paul is married to Maria, and the couple live in Cheshire. They have two sons, Alexander and Nicholas.

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Way We Were 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
WyattH More than 1 year ago
This Nook version of the book has NO photos. None. If you want to see the photos you must get the real book, there are no photos here. Besides the total lack of photos, Mr. Burrell does tell an interesting story. However his story talks about photos from the beginning, the total and utter lack of photos is very annoying. Where are the photos?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So disappointed there are no photos. I wont make that mistake again. Will get the book from library.
Diana Anglada More than 1 year ago
so sweet that her butler wrote a story about her
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much, although I fail to understand the personal nit-pick details here and there that Paul decided to insert --a la Patrick Jephson style. Apart from that I really enjoyed reading about Diana. I definitely believe that her death should be closely examined since I do not buy the idea that her death was just an ordinary traffic accident. I think the good she did for the individuals she embraced and the organizations she championed really did make a positive difference.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I disagree with the other review. I feel it is a good read and is important to preserve her history and life through experience and the photograph's of her home and how plainly she lived. An interesting read and one for history.
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Carol Martin More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed the book, very dissapointd with the nook version no photos. felt the warmth and the compassion of the princess, her life was cut short. god needed the princess with him.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite book by Paul Burrell was A Royal Duty. But I am not upset that Paul Burrell decided to write another Diana Book. I just don't think it was as good as the first one. One of the reasons I like Paul Burrell is that he is under constant attack by Establishment writers such as Andrew Morton, Tina Brown and that bunch. These writers seem to want to be the one who knows more about Diana than anyone. The problem is that Paul has more inside knowledge than any of the others so that seems to grate on them. Honestly, the buyers of these books do not want to read that Diana was mad or bad 'something I am not convinced she was'. They want to read about the glamourous side of her and her work. I was not taken with Hasnat Khan. I thought he sort of used the princess and then did not want to marry her. I think he should have told her at the start that marriage was out of the question rather than string her along. After her death I thought it was wrong of Paul to give Hasnat a headband that belonged to Diana. Why did he deserve the momento? She was no longer seeing Hasnat. He, in my opinion, deserved nothing concerning the princess even if it was only a headband that would probably be burned along with other unwanted stuff by either the Windsors or the Spencers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gives a thrilling insite to Dianas life, Paul Burrell has captured Dianas elegance, beauty and her kind heart and really bought her to life, a really really great read
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an honest well written book. I enjoyed Paul's sons remembrances of fun times with Diana and her children. The photos of her Kensington Palace apt. was interesting to see and probably the only ones ever published. Paul obviously misses 'The Boss' and had a wonderful and interesting 10 years with her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book and it really is a good read.Every thing that needed to be said about priness diana was said. Her two sons should not be angry about the book as it does show their mother for what she was about and what really meant something to her. Including her hopes and dreams for them. Very well written
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very disappointing book. I read and enjoyed 'A Royal Duty', but Burrell did not have enough additional material to fill another volume. A lot of repetition both within this book and with the first one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately Paul changed his tune about The Princess of Wales since A Royal Duty. I mean I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewer before me concerning Mr. Khan. But what the reviewer did not mention is that Paul in keeping with the anti-Di movement blamed Diana for the split. I mean he cited her so-called reputation for freezing out people who she quarreled with, and poor Mr. Khan was added to the list of former Diana friends. What Paul elected to overlook was Mr. Khan would not marry Diana. I mean Prince William urged the courtship with Dodi by famously replying: Hasnat made you cry and Dodi makes you happy. What better endorsement for choosing one man over the other than the wise observation of her brilliant young son? Diana's pointed remark to several close friends --- that she needed another marriage like she needed a bad rash on her face --- excluded Paul's favorite Mr. Khan as a future husband. I mean how much clearer does it have to be? Mr. Khan was out of Diana's life from her point of view.