Prince Harry and Paul Burrell
Prince Harry (Shutterstock) and Paul Burrell (YouTube)

Prince Harry’s eagerly-anticipated memoir, Spare, has hit bookstores today. Readers everywhere can now devour all 401 pages of Harry’s look back at his life so far.

Besides his family and the British press, other targets for Harry’s ire include former royal employees. Specifically, the former butler to his mother, Princess Diana.

Diana was known to have a warm relationship with her butler, Paul Burrell. She called him her “rock”. Burrell worked for Diana for ten years, up until her death in 1997.

In 2003, Burrell published his own memoir, called A Royal Duty. It dwelt largely on his time spent with Princess Diana. In 2007, he launched his own range of wines, entitled Royal Butler Wines.

Related: Diana’s friendship with Freddie Mercury, her gay butler, and other queer moments to know ahead of ‘The Crown’

“It made my blood boil”

Harry does not name Burrell in Spare, but it’s clear who he’s talking about.

“Mummy’s former butler had penned a tell-all which actually told nothing,” he said when notified in 2003 about the book. “It was merely one man’s self-justifying, self-centering version of events.”

“My mother once called this butler a dear friend, trusted him implicitly. We did too. Now this. He was milking her disappearance for money. It made my blood boil.”

At the time Burrell’s book came out, Buckingham Palace issued a statement on behalf of Charles, William and Harry. It condemned the tome and accused Burrell of “a cold and overt betrayal.”

Harry says he had nothing to do with the statement. Were it up to him, it would have gone even further.

There was some talk of the former butler meeting with the Princes to talk about why he’d written the book. However, it never came to pass. Harry says he was 19 working as an unpaid farmhand in Australia when he heard about the book’s publication.

He was outraged to hear about the memoir and said he wanted to fly back to confront Burrell, but Charles and William talked him out of it.

As for any meeting between the boys and Burrell, Harry says he waited “anxiously” for it to take place. Eventually, he realized it wasn’t going to happen: “’I didn’t know why; I presume the Palace quashed it. I told myself: Shame.”

“I thought of that man as the one errant steer that got away that summer.”

Related: ‘Cut’ or ‘Uncut”? Prince Harry reveals all in new memoir

Paul Burrell slams Harry’s memoirs

Burrell was married to a woman at the time he worked for Diana. A few years after the princess’ death, Burrell came out as gay. He is now married to a man and has since said he thinks Diana knew his secret.

Last December, Burrell spoke out against news of Harry’s memoir and Netflix documentary.

Before working for Diana, Burrell served as a footman for the Queen. He said he believed the late Monarch, who died in September, would be “very upset and unhappy that Harry was saying so much, showing so many private things.”

Today, Burrell appeared on an Australian morning show. He claims Diana would “be appalled” at Harry’s memoir, saying, “She would be really angry at these personal, vindictive revelations.”

Burrell also said he didn’t recognize the Harry sees now compared with the boy he knew.

“What I see now is an angry, petulant prince who’s constantly blaming other people and not taking any accountability on his part.”

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated