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Paul Burrell - in his own words
17-12-2004, 10:14 AM
Post: #1
Paul Burrell - in his own words

Did anyone see this last night?

I saw the first half - up to where Charles and Di separated. Wasn't mad about the whole documentry style for some reason having those photgraphic characters (paul and royals etc) being moved ab out in the background was a bit creepy imo! It was a bit like those canadian guys from southpark!!

I dunno what the rest of ye thought but it seemed like Paul can readily identify with females and has no problems taking orders from them but has a bit of a problem with taking orders from men. His immitating of Prince Charles accent was another thing that was a bit creepy!!


Anyways i just dont get the whole thing of wanting to serve the monarchy - Paul tried to explain his reasons throughout the documentry why he chose that path and what i mainly got from the docu was that he seemed like he was happy to live his life vicariously through the royals for many years, sacrificing time with his own family.....

I still dont understand why anyone would want to work in what seems like such a subserviant and imo unrewarding role...different strokes i supposse...

<span style='color:blue'><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>&quot;Work is the curse of the drinking classes&quot;</span></span>
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17-12-2004, 11:24 AM
Post: #2
Paul Burrell - in his own words
I didn't actually see this documentary because I was out of the country, but I did get the impression from the adverts for it that it might do Paul Burrell's image more harm than good.

The documentary was advertised here quite heavily for about a week before it was shown and I assume that you had the same advert in Ireland. But the one thing that creeped me out a bit was a particular quote from Burrell in the advertisement, which was taken directly out of the documentary. It went something like this:

"Anyone who has ever experienced loss will understand this. Shortly after her death I opened the closet which contained her clothes. I crept into the closet, sat on the floor and was surrounded by her scent. And in that position I bedded down for the night."

Personally, I thought that was OTT. Sure, I can understand that someone could be so distraught by the death of a loved one that they would gain comfort from doing that, but I would normally associated such overwhelming grief with the death of a close family member - i.e. someone they really, really loved and cherished. What I find difficult to comprehend is that anyone would attribute such feelings to their boss! It seems a bit creepy and almost obsessive. It was almost as if he felt the same love for Diana as he would feel for his wife or his mother, which I personally find hard to fathom.

I don't think there is any doubt that Burrell did feel genuine love for Diana, but like you Crystal Lights, I find it hard to understand how that could be. Its all very servile, and it remind me a little of how a grief stricken dog might act if it suddenly lost its master.

This is just my impression, although I accept that I'm not really in a position to judge, not having been there, or been witness to their relationship. Like you say though, different strokes.....

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17-12-2004, 01:58 PM
Post: #3
Paul Burrell - in his own words
karenh Wrote:The documentary was advertised here quite heavily for about a week before it was shown and I assume that you had the same advert in Ireland. But the one thing that creeped me out a bit was a particular quote from Burrell in the advertisement, which was taken directly out of the documentary. It went something like this:

"Anyone who has ever experienced loss will understand this. Shortly after her death I opened the closet which contained her clothes. I crept into the closet, sat on the floor and was surrounded by her scent. And in that position I bedded down for the night."

Personally, I thought that was OTT. Sure, I can understand that someone could be so distraught by the death of a loved one that they would gain comfort from doing that, but I would normally associated such overwhelming grief with the death of a close family member - i.e. someone they really, really loved and cherished. What I find difficult to comprehend is that anyone would attribute such feelings to their boss! It seems a bit creepy and almost obsessive. It was almost as if he felt the same love for Diana as he would feel for his wife or his mother, which I personally find hard to fathom.

I think thats wierd too KH.
And there were plenty more cringe worthy instances in the documentry. He stated at one point something like "the only part of the day i was alone with the queen was when she accompanied my in feeding her corgis, it was my most cherished part of the day, it was then she might have a few words with me, asked me how my day was for example" and then he went onto say about his last day working for her...
"my last task for the queen was to accompany her to her car - i hoped she might look in my direction, in some way acknowledge that it was my last day, but she didn't" I realised that she must have been too overcome in the emotion that was in the day..."

Emmm sorry paul most likely she couldn't have given a sh!t

see what i dont unerstand is that paul was honered by his position, he felt privilaged! I am just utterly confused as how someone could be honoured to work for someone yes even a monarch, a celeb etc who so clearly treated them as second class citizen as somone beneath them , not worth even thanking for their ten years service on their last day or work!!

I just dont comprehend Paul feeling like the luckiest guy in the world etc not one iota.

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17-12-2004, 02:09 PM
Post: #4
Paul Burrell - in his own words
Crystal Lights Wrote:He stated at one point something like "the only part of the day i was alone with the queen was when she accompanied my in feeding her corgis, it was my most cherished part of the day, it was then she might have a few words with me, asked me how my day was for example" and then he went onto say about his last day working for her...
"my last task for the queen was to accompany her to her car - i hoped she might look in my direction, in some way acknowledge that it was my last day, but she didn't" I realised that she must have been too overcome in the emotion that was in the day..."

Emmm sorry paul most likely she couldn't have given a sh!t

Ooooh - I wish I'd seen it now!

It does all sound a bit freaky and obsessive doesn't it? And you're right - Burrell is a well educated, intelligent man. How can he be happy - feel priviledged even - to work as a devoted servant (albeit a high ranking one) for people who actually regard him as beneath them? Although it does sound like he might be deluding himself about the regard in which they held him....

I still think it all sounds very "dog and master" to me. He seems like some sort of throwback to the early 1900's. I imagine a Royal Butler in 1900 might feel similarly priviledged and devoted in his service (well, if "Upstairs Downstairs" was anything to go by, they did! :laugh: )

Poor guy.

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17-12-2004, 03:34 PM
Post: #5
Paul Burrell - in his own words
Its easy to be cynical about Paul Burrell and classify him as a subservient man.
I think he is however endemic of a particular time in socieity .

If we go back to Pauls child-hood (where a lot of peoples values are begotten),
it was a time where the monarchy was still revered and admired , with peoples
devotion to it unqustioned. There was a mystique, an aura attached to it that
was magical to the ordinary person. England also has a history of service , the
idea of the country home and reserved/valued servants attending to the
aristrocarcies every need is quintessentially British. From Gosford Park to the
butler in the Nanny , from the Fresh Prince of Belair to Alfred in Batman, the
idea of the upstanding , polite, unruffled strong English servant has been made
indellible in the public conciousness.
I would think that Paul was attracted to this ideal - the ideal of being close
to power , close to privillege , close to wealth. I think that he was
intoxicated by the ideal rather than the actuality of the service. (He may also
have read Readers Digest in the 80's which laid out the financial remunneration
vailable to butlers - quite handsome!!! As a 5 year old I thought Butler
college might be more financially appealing than college)

I think Paul fell in love with the ideal of Diana , the beautiful princess, the
lady who could communicate with both heads of state and the homeless, with
doctors and illiterates with the eldery and infirm and with the yound and
vibrant. He also fell in love with her fragility. He like all men wanted to
protect her. She also gave him status , prestige , importance - her death
robbed all his powers and he may have been mourning this as much as her passing
when he slept in her chambers after her death

His problem with authority with men presumably stemmed from the fact that when
men gave him orders they demeaned him , women like Diana he was protecting and
caring for with his tasks. The queen though very different in being percieved
as gruff and reserved would also have appealed to Paul as he would have seen
her as a hard exterior but the proverbial heart of gold , a lady under attack
whom he had to care for.

We can deride Paul all we like but at the end of the day is the idea of service
and subservience not prevalent everywhere. There are obvious examples such as
groupies and fanatical fans .Moreover there are those of us in corporate life
who devote ourselves to the capotalistic monarch that we serve. Though our
service may not be in the public eye it is service none the same.

Regards
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17-12-2004, 05:40 PM
Post: #6
Paul Burrell - in his own words
That's a very compelling and well thought out argument Timofte and I admit that it has made me consider Paul Burrell from a slightly different perspective. But whilst there are parts of your argument that I might concede are possibly true, there are also parts that I find difficult to agree with.

Example:


Timofte Wrote:I think he is however endemic of a particular time in socieity .

If we go back to Pauls child-hood (where a lot of peoples values are begotten), it was a time where the monarchy was still revered and admired , with peoples devotion to it unqustioned. There was a mystique, an aura attached to it that was magical to the ordinary person.

I don't agree with this comment especially. Paul Burell isn't that old (he can't be older than mid 40's?). My parents aren't British so I can't use them as examples, but my husband's parents are. They must easily be 20-30 years older than Paul Burrell (in their 70's). They most definitely grew up in the time you refer to - and the devotion to monarchy would have been so much greater when they were young than when Burrell was - yet they do not hold such reverence for the monarchy now. You only have to look at the turn out for major Royal processions etc. to realise that the public reverance for the monarchy has taken a significant downturn during the last 50 years.

The argument that England "has a history of service" is true enough - but it is a perceived history which is much more relevant overseas than it is here (e.g. American's love the idea of an English Butler or an English Nanny). But in the country which made that perception famous - Britain - it is generally accepted as an outmoded and inaccurate perception. Times change. Heck - 50 years ago we had the best Health Service in the world, and some places think we still do!!!!

Timofte Wrote:We can deride Paul all we like but at the end of the day is the idea of service and subservience not prevalent everywhere. There are obvious examples such as groupies and fanatical fans .Moreover there are those of us in corporate life who devote ourselves to the capotalistic monarch that we serve. Though our service may not be in the public eye it is service none the same.

I both agree and disgree with this. Groupies and fanatical fans are obsessive who follow an ideal which they usually grow out of. And yes, of course, most people work for someone and that could be regarded as "service", and of course, there are some who practically devote their lives to that "service". But groupies are not obsessing abut their boss. And in fact, the corporate slaves are also not usually slaving for their bosses so much as slaving for their own financial gain, and the moment they are not gaining, they move on. Paul Burrell seemed more "groupie like" than corporate slave like. He genuinely seemed to worship the monarchy in an unconditional way - it wasn't dependent on them paying him well or on reciprocal respect. It was odd.

This is the part that I agree with though:

Timofte Wrote:I think Paul fell in love with the ideal of Diana , the beautiful princess, the lady who could communicate with both heads of state and the homeless, with doctors and illiterates with the eldery and infirm and with the yound and vibrant. He also fell in love with her fragility. He like all men wanted to protect her. She also gave him status , prestige , importance - her death robbed all his powers and he may have been mourning this as much as her passing when he slept in her chambers after her death

His problem with authority with men presumably stemmed from the fact that when men gave him orders they demeaned him , women like Diana he was protecting and caring for with his tasks. The queen though very different in being percieved as gruff and reserved would also have appealed to Paul as he would have seen her as a hard exterior but the proverbial heart of gold , a lady under attack whom he had to care for.

This is the stuff that I probably agree with. Paul burrell probably DID feel protective and responsible. And he probably DID love these women in his way. And looking at it from that perspective, he does seem more of a sympathetic character.

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17-12-2004, 06:50 PM
Post: #7
Paul Burrell - in his own words
You know when I think of Burrel the one and only person who springs to mind is John Brown, the faithful and loyal servant of Queen Victoria.

Timofte - your comments about Paul Burrel I wholeheartedly endorse.

I actually know a family who are in service to some friends of mine - and they could not be more like the Burrells of this world, their whole lives revolve around their employers. I find this level of loyalty and subservience incredible, especially considering the family are not royalty. But it is not uncommon amongst poorly educated [not saying Burrell was however] and sheltered people, who follow their family tradition and go into service.

The overwhelming feeling I get from this family is pride that they serve and work for their employers, they are at their beck and call 24/7 [notwithstanding holidays] - but they are fiercely loyal, protective and weird!!
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18-12-2004, 11:47 PM
Post: #8
Paul Burrell - in his own words
A few things struck me about this documentary and Paul Burrell.

1. The Spencers and particularly Earl Spencers holier than thou speech at Diana's funeral was a farce. They hadnt spoken for five months; he had refused to allow Diana to live at her ancestral home when she had written to him asking permission, as the atmosphere at Kensington Palace was getting her down. At the time of her death they werent speaking and she was barely speaking to her Mother either. Paul was very miffed indeed that the country was given the wrong impression at the time of the funeral, and rightly so.

2. I have no idea why, to this day, he feels any loyalty toward the Queen, when for at least two years, the Royals hung him out to dry re his court case and it was only when his Barrister actually threatened to call Prince Charles to the witness stand, did the Queen suddenly "remember" that she had had a conversation with Paul in which he mentioned he was taking some of the Princesses things to his home for storage as the Spencers were shredding important letters, documents and removing items from her apartment. His reaction was to ring his wife and say "the Queen's come through for me!" I think mine would have been to say, "about bloody time you *****ers!"

3. Finally, I think that Mrs Burrell must be a saint. The enormous amount of selfishness shown by the Princess for monopolising Paul Burrell's time, when he was supposed to be off duty was staggering. Mrs B, Im sure was pretty damn miffed about it. Paul himself admits that he was "selfless but selfish" during his years with the Princess.
Give Mrs B a medal, I say !

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20-12-2004, 09:40 AM
Post: #9
Paul Burrell - in his own words
I reckon he was just star struck and got off on being with "important people". He has created the revernce as a means to justify to himself and others why he did what he did.

There are plenty women around who do far better work than DIana but also have to work for a living and stick at their commitments (like marriage). In fact there are examples in every town in the UK

The documentary was rather pathetic, especially for C4. Whatever he says, being a servant is a job noone likes to do as it goes against out innate desire for importance - the documentary was one long self justification exercise. Make Diana look good and as if by magic it rubs off on PB.
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20-12-2004, 11:39 PM
Post: #10
Paul Burrell - in his own words
The opinion I gained from the program was that Paul Burrell came from a very working class background and therefore working for Royalty was viewed as a prestigious position for someone like him. I think that compared to any other options open to him, working close to the Royals was seen as a big step up to him and that he felt every bit as important as, say, the Horse Guards.

I can imagine him going home to his humble northern background and enthralling his family with little snippets about his life rubbing shoulders with the Queen and her family.

I can relate to that. I worked at the BBC Television Centre as a humble typist but there was a kind of prestige in working there, however humble the job.

As for his obsession with Diana - well, given her enormous popularity, surely he could be forgiven for having a sense of his own importance being so close to someone that was idolised by millions. I don't doubt that he was infatuated with her. Maybe he has kept the biggest secret of all - that they were lovers?
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