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Here’s the lowdown on Paul Burrell – Princess Di’s former butler

Paul Burrell is best known for being the butler and long-time friend of Princess Diana.

He has made numerous TV appearances since her death in 1997, detailing his time with Royal family. This is what we know about him.

Paul Burrell
Paul Burrell

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Who is Paul Burrell?

Paul Burrell, born on June 6, 1958, served as a footman for Queen Elizabeth II and butler to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Burrell entered the royal service when he was 18 and became the Queen’s personal footman a year later.

He was inspired to work for the monarchy after a childhood visit to Buckingham Palace from his coal-mining hometown Grassmore, Derbyshire.

Burrell became a close confidante of the princess, who once described him as “her rock”.

He divorced his wife of 32 years, Maria, in 2016, to wed boyfriend Graham Cooper on April 3, 2017.

The £30,000 civil partnership ceremony in the Lake District was held at the Linthwaite Hotel in Bowness, Cumbria.

The butler had repeatedly denied claims he is gay, but a source said Diana was the only woman whom he ever told his true sexuality.

Burrell came under fire in 2008, during an inquest into Diana’s death.

It had just emerged he secretly copied letters between her and other members of the Royal Family.

He told the hearing it was for “historical importance”, but was accused of being a “porous rock”.

In Janaury 2023, Burrell revealed that he was suffering with prostate cancer.

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How long did Paul Burrell work for the Royal Family?

Burrell worked for the Royal Family for 21 years.

He began his royal career straight out of school and served as a royal servant for much of his adult life.

Burrell joined the household of Charles and Diana at Highgrove House in 1987.

He became the Princess’ butler and stayed in this role until her death in 1997.

Burrell described himself as Princess Diana’s “best friend” and claimed that she described as “the only man she ever trusted”.

What TV shows has Paul Burrell been on and when was he on I’m A Celebrity?

Burrell appeared on season four of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, in 2004.

He stayed in the jungle for 16 days, making it to the final of the competition.

The series was won by comedian, Joe Pasquale, with Burrell narrowly coming second by a 2% margin.

He participated in four Bushtucker Trials and gained 75% of his stars.

In 2022 he is returning to the show for spin off All Stars.

The ex royal butler has also made frequent television appearances throughout his career, mostly due to his close relationship with the Princess.

Burrell was the Royal Correspondent on the TV show Lorraine in the run-up to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

He was picked out by bosses because of his close relationship with Harry’s mother Diana.

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Is Paul Burrell married and does he have any children?

Burrell got married to Maria Cosgrove in 1984 and the pair were wedded for 32 years.

Cosgrove formerly worked for Prince Philip and the couple met while they were working at Buckingham Palace.

The pair had two children together, Alexander and Nicholas.

However, in 2016, Burrell told his then wife that he wanted to separate due to his concealed homosexuality.

The butler went on to marry his boyfriend, Graham Cooper, in April 2017 in Bowness-on-Windermere.

He explained that his ex-wife believed that their sons would not want a relationship with their dad anymore, after finding out he was gay.

“She said, ‘You could lose your sons. You’ll lose them because they won’t understand,’ but she was wrong,” Burrell said.

Both his sons were expected to fly from their homes in the US to attend his wedding to Graham Cooper.

In 2019 Burrell sold his florist shop and retired to live with his husband in their house in Cheshire.

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Nana Akua
Nana Akua
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