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A Royal Duty Hardcover – 25 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; 1st edition (25 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718147200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718147204
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 3.9 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Paul Burrell has a terrific story to tell. --The Guardian

A classy production. --The Sunday Times --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

A No.1 bestseller and over 550,000 hardbacks sold in the UK alone. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
THE LATE-NIGHT double-decker bus crawled sluggishly up the hilly back roads of the mining communities of Derbyshire, England. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Papin on 19 Nov 2005
Format: Paperback
Royal butler Paul Burrell takes us into the glamorous shadows of Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace (BP and KP, as he calls them) and explains royal life from both sides of the throne. As fascinating as it is to learn of the daily intimacies that the Princess and Burrell shared, it is equally fascinating to learn of the protocol the royal servant had to endure in his early days. I read with great interest of how Paul and Maria were the first pair of royal servants to be allowed to get married, and how servants were supposed to be out of sight as much as possible, to the extent that they would hide in closets to avoid being seen by any member of the royal family as they were walking by. I read for the first time about the grace and favour apartments, how servants were requested not to look the royals in the eye, and how anyone who is not a HRH is required to courtsey or bow to those that are HRHs. I loved learning about all of the politics that go on "downstairs" and what all of the elaborate titles, such as Master of the Purse meant. I was also intrigued by the different dinner rooms they have at BP for different levels of servants. Absolutely fascinating. I loved hearing not only Diana's story being told in a fresh and informative light but also hearing Paul's story as well. I think it is a double treat to read about not only the life of Princess Diana but also a servant who rose from being a hotel assistant manager to the Royal Butler of not only Princess Diana, but also Queen Elizabeth. Burrell endured so much and made so many sacrifices to rise to the position of Royal Butler to Princess Diana, and it is absolutely fascinating to read about the Royal Family accusing him of stealing her records and other things, after all he did for Diana. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I am the better for having read it. I strongly recommend you read it too.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By O. Doyle on 1 May 2005
Format: Paperback
I didn't know quite what to expect when I bought this book. When it was first released the media scrum made it sound like the ultimate betrayal to Diana and without knowing much about Paul Burrell I pre-judged him guilty on all counts. I'm fascinated by Diana and her life so I talked myself into getting this book just to see what all the fuss was about and to see if I could glean anything else about the princess from the man closest to her.
One thing I can guarantee you.....all that was written about this book being a 'betrayal' by the man closest to Diana is a load of rubbish! He has nothing but praise for 'The Boss', the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and William & Harry and although he shared private moments between himself and members of the royal family I don't see any evidence that he betrayed anyone.
Paul Burrell makes no secret of his feelings about the late princesses family and I for one agree that the Spencer family should be ashamed of their behaviour to Diana, her memory and her closes friends.
This book is indeed a tribute to Diana and it gives her adoring public one more insight into one of the most remarkable women ever born.
Well done Mr Burrell & best of luck to you and your family!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Mar 2004
Format: Hardcover
What I have just read has changed my thoughts about the Royal Family and the 'hangers on' that dwell behind the palaces and retreats of the wealthy forever. You need to read between the lines and see what Paul is trying to get across to a 'media-cohersed' public. This story is about woman bred into an aristocractic family, who's history goes back decades - to the time of Henry the 8th and his struggle with the Catholic church and the families who's daughters were lined up for marriage like 'lambs to the slaughter'. The Spencers thought they could get their own back on the Windsors through the innocent butler. Their jealousy and hatred was used to put Paul and his family through hell. Read this book and see for yourself how a mother, with a hatred of other religions and for anything but herself, stripped the very soul of Diana and after her death, burning and destroying her life in one day. Paul could see this happening and could nothing about it. All the Queen could do was to warn him of forces beyond her control - im surprised he is still alive as Im sure he could tell much more.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Shimsham on 27 July 2005
Format: Hardcover
If, like me, you formed a negative opinion of Paul Burrell with everything you've seen in the media, I strongly suggest you read this book. Not only is it a fascinating insight into behind the scenes in the Royal Family, but you will also realise that the media has created a totally inaccurate impression of Paul Burrell and the content of his book. From reading this book, which was difficult to put down, the most significant impression I gained is that he cared deeply and sincerely about Diana, and that he has never stopped respecting her or the other members of the Royal Family. He is convincing and I hope his version of events is true, that the Queen and Prince Phillip were supportive and helpful to Diana and that she always maintained a good relationship with them. William and Harry found upsetting and shocking the part where Diana writes to Paul, saying she is scared someone is plotting her death in a car accident. I can understand that. That aside however, I cannot see what the fuss is about, this is a fantastic book, showing the Royal Family in a positive light, the kindness and humanity of the Queen and hard to see how the Royal Family were against this book. If anything, after reading it, I have more respect for them and am certainly more intrigued by them.
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