13 of 13 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
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 11 months ago by kramax
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs-up!,
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Paperback)Having read so much about this book (good and bad), I decided to buy it at Heathrow on a flight to the States. Curiosity got the
better of me. One trans-Atlantic flight later and I had finished it. I was engrossed. It is an amazing story, and no wonder Paul
Burrell can't shut up about Diana. He lived with her for so long and did everything for her. I'd be shouting it from the rooftops too. A Royal Duty deserves a big thumbs up.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)Unlike some reviewers and media pundits who trashed this book, I found it to be a very insightful look into the fascinating world of royalty that few or none of us, especially Americans, could have a clue about.
Burrell clearly was dedicated both to Queen Elizabeth II, and later to Diana when he served them. He is frank, honest, and still in deep mourning. His grief is palpable on every page, and despite criticisms about him, it is transparently clear to an open minded person that this is a TRIBUTE book to both the Queen and Diana. It is definitely NOT a tribute book to her ex-husband who presents as an utterly narcissistic and self absorbed man. Paul clearly does have deep affection however for William and Harry and it shows throughout the text.
Maria Burrell presents as both a whining nag, and saint. It had to have been a horrendous time for her and their sons to endure the abuse by Scotland Yard and the incompetence of local cops. More contemptible was the censure of others especially during the trial period when he was falsely accused of theft. There is no sense that Paul was a "traitor" in his behavior toward the royal family. Rather, it is their betrayal of him that is the real heart of the book. He did NOT paint a maudelin, overly sympathetic self portrait. In both readings, I saw instead, a very real, deeply wounded, used, abused and utterly heartbroken man whose personal loyalty and integrity is being impugned by the media and members of the royal "establishment". This his point exactly throughout the book. Diana's so-called "friends", sisters and mother PLUS certain members of the royal family continue to viciously attack this heartsick man. Apart from Queen Elizabeth II's compassionate understanding of Paul's unique situation, the media's poisonous spin is both demeaning and utterly despicable to all of them.
What makes "A Royal Life" such a compelling read is the detailed recounting of what brainwashed servants have to endure just for the "privilege" of serving the royals. Even though it was his career choice, this expose of the servant role is a strong lesson for whiners and complainers in any society. As he quoted is his book from the movie Gosford Park, "a good servant has no life" it is clear that his devotion to his work was unique.
That bird would not fly in the USA, because of our deep, abiding obsession with personal freedom and independence. My overall evaluation of Paul's real life experiences are that he presents a riveting account of British history in the making. Warts and all, this book is worth the time and money spent to peek into a lifestyle and place that is seemingly frozen in time. Why the otherwise sophisticated and hip British public continues to support the royal anacronism is the enigma.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TENDER MEMORY,
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)I am Italian and found of HRH Diana.
I carefully read this book and found out that Mr. Burrell wrote it with devotion and his memories on HRH Diana are tender and respectful. it is very well written and I congratulate with the writer and his family for the strength, love and courage in protecting HRH's memory.
Very well done.
Thank you Mr. Burrell
8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fawning Lickspittle,
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This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)For all of the controversy surrounding this book, what is most striking about this gushing love story is how it shows what an anachonism the Royal Family and all of their flunkies really are.It is 2003 and these people are pampered by brainwashed zombies like Burrell day and night , fawned over and have every whim indulged. Yet they are as dysfunctional as any other family in this dysfunctional new millennium. As for Burrell, I doubt whether his long suffering wife Maria would get such a warm , heartfelt tribute written for her by him upon her death.He got too close to Princess Diana ,should not have fallen in love with her and this book is the cringing account of a broken hearted man. Cue the violins someone.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and Uninformative,
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)Sorry Paul but, in your efforts to protect Diana and the Royal Family, you reveal nothing in this book but your admiration of her and 80% of this book is text to support your belief in your relationship with her and to prove your innocence, which most people never doubted any way. Rather than aiming this book for the general public, I feel it is just a testimony that you should have written solely to your ex-employers and Diana's family. If we are looking for facts and a candid portrait of Diana, your book would be the last thing to give us this.
written by Clare K.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In Royal Service by Paul Burrell,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)The book was quite interesting to start with, describing Paul Burrell's early days in Royal Service, and towards the end at his trial at the Old Bailey but I was extremely disappointed with the remainder.
Sadly, I found the book to be badly written and contain a lot of grammatical errors. In places the author tended to favour less usual words when simpler words would have sufficied and unfortunately sometimes used words which didn't fit the context of what was being written.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Had to be wrtten and needs to be read.,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)As a loyal Princess Diana follower, I felt I knew it all and was quite annoyed when yet another Diana book hit the circuit, however this one I feel was in the circumstances necessary to set the record straight. It has certainly opened my eyes and made me realise I had a blinkered viewpoint, it has not harmed my image of the Royal Family, in fact the Queen has actually gone up in my estimation.
Paul is someone to be admired for his long standing sense of duty, I only hope that having written the book it has eased his pain, and that he can now find the courage to move on, having read it has given me the incentive to move on, a lot wiser and less blinkered, withot my memories of The Queen of Hearts being tarnished in anyway.
If you have had enough of the speculation and want to feel you know the truth, this is the one book to read.
6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MIGHTY SALVO AT DIANA'S DETRACTORS,
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)I LOVED EVERY WORD OF THIS BOOK. POOR DIANA FOR SO LONG THOSE WHO WISHED TO REWRITE HISTORY AND TARNISH HER REPUTATION HAVE HAD THEIR WAY VIZ THE LIKE OF PENNY JUNOR ET AL WELL NO LONGER. PAUL WAS RIGHT TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT AND HERE HE HAS DONE OUR QUEEN OF HEARTS PROUD. I HOPE HER SONS READ IT WHEN THEY ARE MATURE MEN AND SEE WHAT A TRULY WONDERFUL AND SADLY MISUSED PERSON SHE WAS.PAULS DETRACTORS HATE THE FACT HE'S EARN'T MONEY FOR THIS BOOK WELL ALL I CAN SAY IS TOUGH. WELL DONE PAUL WHILE YOU DRAW BREATH WE KNOW THAT DIANA HAS A TRUE KNIGHT AS OF OLD TO DEFEND HER HONOUR.
46 of 107 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Same old sleezy rubbish,
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)A dull book from a sad man trying to cash in on the life of a rather nice person. There are thousands of excellent books here on Amazon.co.uk. Why spend you hard-earned money on this tosh?
16 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Not So New Biography,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Royal Duty (Hardcover)Biographies of famous people once followed a certain formula. The work would tell the story as factually, disinterestedly and impersonally as possible, avoiding speculation,defamation or rumour. This often made them rather dull reading but over time came to define their trustwothiness. The first to break these rules was Lytton Stracchey with short pen portraits of Florence Nightingle and Queen Victoria in his groundbreaking book 'Eminent Victorians'. But Stracchey didn't break any of the intrinsic rules of biography, he simply showed less reverence than was generally expected.
Paul Burrell in this awful, hysterically self justifying hodgepoge of anecdote, gossip and speculation breaks all the rules governing loyalty as well as establishing a new low for authors and reading public alike.
This is not the truth about Diana it is an act of treachery, a compendium of mayfair gossip and servant's tall tales. It seems such a pity that many will thrill to the suggestions, innuendoes and scandal mongering of this former royal servant rather than await a true and penetrating account of a very complex and contrary spirit caught up in a period when the monarchy had never been so threatened with extinction.
What might have been a serious book about the clash of a woman who both courted and recoiled from celebrity and a monarchy which was struggling against a crumbling class sytem and the quintessential traditions of England is only a sheaf of yesterday's papers, a surefire hit in the remainders section of every bookshop in the west.
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A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell (Hardcover - 27 Oct 2003)
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