Prince William and Prince Harry Reportedly Had a "Low-Key Meeting" With Diana's Butler Paul Burrell Before the Sussexes' Engagement

They'd apparently not spoken to him since their mom's funeral.

Diana, The Princess Of Wales, In London With Her Butler, Paul Burrell, In 1994
(Image credit: Photo by Antony Jones / Getty)

Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell isn't particularly popular with members of the Royal Family these days, because of his willingness to publicly reveal details about his time working for them.

Exhibit A: Diana's children Prince William and Prince Harry apparently did not speak to Burrell for years after their mom's 1997 funeral, and were reportedly not impressed with his 2000 memoir A Royal Duty, which looked back on his time with Diana.

However, according to one source who spoke to The Sun, the royal brothers actually broke their silence towards Burrell to secretly meet with him in 2017, the week before Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle.

"It was a low-key meeting but the brothers wanted to speak to someone who had been close to their mother," the source said (via Express).

"There were some aspects of her life they felt Paul could provide better clarity on. They asked to keep it all under wraps and he respected that. Paul was happy to tell them everything he knew and shed some light on their memories."

While it sounds like that particular meeting went well, it didn't truly clear the air between Burrell and the royals.

Years later, writing in his memoir Spare, Harry described how betrayed he felt by Burrell's decision to write about Diana, and admitted he felt Burrell was "milking" her death.

Burrell was not pleased about this development.

Commenting on the book in January of this year, he said, "I was really upset, really upset [by] the fact that he referred to me as 'the butler,' 'mummy’s butler.' Well, mummy’s butler was called Paul, Harry, and you knew me, all your life you’ve known me as Paul.

"He had never known me as 'the butler' so why suddenly has there been a shift only recently, a shift to being called the butler? Suddenly I’m sort of being dismissed by this petulant prince as irrelevant because he says my tell-all book told nothing."

Oof. I think it's safe to say Burrell and Harry are no longer on speaking terms.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.