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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the Glamourous Shadows of KP and BP
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...
Published on 19 Nov. 2005 by Rebecca Papin

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Book ok by a cloying author
Well, if you are a Diana fan you have already read this book. The author was on borrowed time (according to Diana's friends) as an employee of her home. Then she died and suddenly he forced himself centre stage in the telling of her life. Of course it is a telling book due to the author's proximity to her life, but hey, a "rock" as he calls himself ('Diana's...
Published on 31 Dec. 2012 by kramax


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the Glamourous Shadows of KP and BP, 19 Nov. 2005
By 
Rebecca Papin "Literary Connoisseur" (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Royal Duty (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read., 1 May 2005
By 
O. Doyle "celticshedevil" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Royal Duty (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A R oyal Duty, 6 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: A Royal Duty (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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book!, 27 July 2005
By 
This review is from: A Royal Duty (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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT READ, 30 Aug. 2006
By 
J. WALKER (YORKSHIRE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Paperback)
Paul comes across as a genuinely great man with a terrific sense of humour. Paul always defends Princess Diana and remains faithful to protecting her good name.

Brilliant read, well written, fast paced and full of interesting stories about the Spencers and the Windsors.

Mr. Burrell has been made a scapegoat in the death of Princess Diana not least by the both the Spencers and Windsors dragging him into court on a theft charge. I am glad Paul wrote this book, I think it would be what Princess Diana wanted.

Mr. Burrell has behaved admirably since Diana's death -
GOOD LUCK FOR THE FUTURE PAUL - YOU DESERVE IT.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating, funny, moving, insightful, frustrating...., 15 Dec. 2003
By A Customer
This book is a wonderful account of 'behind closed doors' within the Royal family. It is the fascinating story of a man who not only served the Queen for years, but was also close to Prince Charles and Princess Diana through thieir most troubled times, and then finally with Diana alone as her 'rock'.
I have a new found repect for the monarchy through this book. It is a superb read that had me on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Paul describes his pain at the loss of the princess in such detail that I could not help but weep with him. He describes the funny times he had with Diana too, which allows us to share a world where this remarkable lady was like a bright shining star in a big black sky.
Read it. You will not be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For always, Queen of my heart, 17 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)
I have always read as many of the various books written about Diana that i could lay my hands on, from the original Her True Story, which i purchased in 1992,when it was first written up to now, now both of the Paul Burrell books, A royal Duty and The Way We Were.I think even before the True Story i already knew that the marriage was unhappy, i always recalled on the engagement interview Charles saying, what ever love means, my instinct instantly at that time was, he dos,nt love her, of her feelings i had no doubts.
I think both the Burrel books are excellent, fine examples of a truly devoted man and his family who knew his subject better than anyone, and the closest we will ever get to knowing Diana without an autobiography.How the press could have condemned him for his sincere thoughtful writings is beyond me,but then again they are a law unto themselves, no holes barred, ANYTHING for a sensational story, be it true or not.
In this, A royal Duty i realise that the Queen and Duke were sympathetic to Diana,s plight in her marriage BUT, i will never understand WHY in those early days they did nothing productive to help save the marriage,tea and biscuits are fine but they don,t usually get results.Its not uncommon in history in this country for our previous Monarch,s to ban certain people from court or county if so inclined, perhaps they were afraid of repercussions of Edward and Mrs Simpson rearing it,s ugly head again,so what, no loss in my opinion.
Prince Charles dose not deserve to be King, if after all that Diana said about him and Parker Bowles was not true how come he married THAT WOMAN is what i want to know,there,s always been a known fact in royal circles, that what the Prince of Wales wants, the Prince of Wales gets.
I am so impressed that Paul is still fighting in Diana,s corner and that history will prove she was the royal one here, a human being, not a wet fish like all the rest of the other royal,s.Lets all hope that William and Harry are a chip off their mother,s old block, i am sure their initial condemnation of this book was instigated by the men in Grey Suits and not by their own doing,if they had read this book they could only see that it was in praise of their darling mother.
Good on you Paul,made me laugh,made me cry, which i have done many times and still do, of the loss of our beautiful, kind, humanitarian, Diana.
GOD BLESS DIANA.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Hysteria - read the book!, 2 Nov. 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)
The hysterical reaction to this book (see some reviews below) beggars belief - and betrays Britains thrall to 'class'. Prince Charles 'briefs' journalists, Diana 'leaked' and Paul Burrell has 'betrayed confidences'. Actually, he does very little of that and anyone looking for major revelations will be disappointed. What emerges is a star struck and affectionate portrait of the Queen, Diana and even Prince Phillip. Prince Charles is treated in a fairly even handed way. The only people who come out badly are the Spencers (how many times has Earl Spencer seen the nephews he vowed to protect in his eulogy for Diana? - a charge of hypocrisy would not be too difficult to make - and she who was not allowed to live at Althrop in life has been entombed there in death - better for visitor numbers?). The ghost writer has done a decent enough job & the prose only gets leaden when Burrell 'remembers' direct speech. And as for his chief publicists Princes William & Harry they should remember their Great Grandmother's dictum - 'never complain, never explain'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 7 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Paperback)
I've just bought the paperback. The 'unputdownable' reference from Lynn Barber of the Daily Telegraph made me curious. I then read many other glowing reviews on the inside cover so I had to find out for myself. Mr Burrell has a hidden talent as a great storyteller. The man can write as well as serve! This book is nothing like what the tabloids have portrayed it as. I found his chapters about the Queen more riveting than about Diana. Paul
Burrell has changed my mind for the better about the royals and made me miss Diana even more. This book will make you laugh and
cry and get angry. The injustice of this man's trial is made complete by the way they treated him for writing this book. If you are a Diana fan, you must, must, must read this book. If you think you loathe Paul Burrell (as I thought I did) then read this book and allow your mind to be changed. Lynn Barber got it right - A Royal Duty is unputdownable and a bloody good read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two sides to every story!, 25 Jan. 2004
By 
Claire, Lulu "Lulu" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)
I have just finished this book and i truelly believe paul burrell is innocent! i am also happy to say that my views on certain royals have changed for the better. The book itself could be construed as a credit to them describing the kindness they have shown and also the warm attitude they have portrayed. Ok so there are two sides to every story and sadly this is the only side we are ever likely to hear. This book begins with pauls unlikely background and his close family network explaining how he ventured into the royal lifestyle, what he did, how he felt, generally the same as any other biography, Until he enters the royal household.
He describes everything in real detail and to the point you feel you were there sharing it with him. It goes on through the years to tell of his service to the royals and how he dedicated his life to them. How he then became butler of the princess and how he catered for her as a dutifull staff member. It also highlights the "Grey Suit" influence in a "big brother" manner and how much they had to do with his farcical trial. Scotland Yard, The Spencers and The "Grey Suits" are all named and shamed in this book.
This book is an outstanding read, the only criticism i would give is the deviation from the dates, he will start telling you about say 12th August 1988 then jump to 12th November 2001 back to another random date before he finally continues with the original story of the first date! it can become a little tedious at times. However overall this book is outstanding and i believe this book should be read by anybody! A big thumbs up to Mr Paul Burrell And The Royal Family
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A Royal Duty
A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell (Paperback - 3 Jun. 2004)
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