Princess Diana ‘would have attended’ King Charles’ coronation, former butler says

·4-min read

Princess Diana’s former butler has said he believes the late royal would’ve attended the coronation of King Charles III if she were alive today.

In an interview with GB News broadcaster Dan Wootton on Thursday (4 May), Paul Burrell said that not only would the late Princess of Wales “have attended” her ex-husband’s coronation on Saturday (6 May), but she also would’ve “outshone everyone” at the ceremony.

“I think she would have attended,” Burrell said. “I think she would have looked stunning. She would have outshone everyone – much to the anger of some – but she would have done it with grace.”

The former butler emphasised that Princess Diana wouldn’t pass up the coronation “being such a vociferous member of the royal family” and being “so proud of her sons” – Prince William and Prince Harry.

He added that Diana herself “would have moved on” by now and hopefully “would have found love” with someone else.

Paul Burrell developed a close relationship with the late Princess Diana, acting as butler to the princess until her death in August 1997. He began serving as a footman at Buckingham Palace when he was 18, and became the personal footman to the late Queen Elizabeth II one year later.

Burrell has previously said that Diana described him as her “rock” and he was “the only man she ever trusted” in subsequent memoirs written by the ex-butler.

However, he came under fire in 2008 during an inquest into Diana’s death, when it was revealed that he secretly copied letters between her and other members of the royal family. He has also been criticised for disclosing private aspects of Diana’s personal life, which he was told in confidence, in his books.

Princess Diana and her butler, Paul Burrell, in Bosnia on 9 August 1997 (PA)
Princess Diana and her butler, Paul Burrell, in Bosnia on 9 August 1997 (PA)

Princess Diana – who died in a tragic car accident in Paris, France at age 36 – would have been 61 years old at King Charles’ coronation.

The former Prince and Princess of Wales were married on 29 July 1981 at Westminster Abbey, the same location where Charles will be crowned more than 40 years later. They were married for nearly 10 years and welcomed two sons, but Prince Charles’ infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles caused the couple to separate in 1992. Their divorce was finalised in 1996.

The then-Prince of Wales went on to marry Parker Bowles in 2005. On Saturday, his wife will be crowned Queen Camilla alongside her husband during the coronation ceremony. Since the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, she had been referred to as Queen Consort.

Some 2,000 guests have been invited to attend “The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla – By Command of the King the Earl Marshall is directed to invite…to be present at the Abbey Church of Westminster on 6th day of May 2023”. The invitation, designed by Andrew Jamieson, also includes an illustration featuring Camilla’s coat of arms enclosed by the Garter, to represent her installation as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter last summer.

A senior royal aide recently confirmed to the Daily Mail that she will henceforth be called Queen Camilla because it “made sense to refer to Her Majesty as the Queen Consort in the early months of His Majesty’s reign, to distinguish from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

“Queen Camilla is the appropriate title to set against King Charles on the invitation,” they added. “The Coronation is an appropriate time to start using ‘Queen Camilla’ in an official capacity. All former Queen consorts have been known as Queen plus their first name.”

The Duke of Sussex will also be in attendance at the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla. There had been much speculation over whether Princess Diana’s youngest son would attend his father’s coronation, following the release of his tell-all memoir, Spare, in January. Since stepping down as senior working royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have shared many details about the royal family in their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 and their six-part Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan.

On 12 April, Buckingham Palace confirmed Prince Harry will attend the coronation, while Meghan will stay at home in California with their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

“Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that the Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6 May,” the Palace said in a statement. “The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”

It was previously reported that Harry was seeking an “apology” from his father, Charles, and his brother, the current Prince of Wales, before he made any commitment to the ceremony. Harry had also said in an interview that the “door is always open” for reconciliation.

Follow for live updates from the coronation here.