Paul Burrell really is incorrigible. As hard as he tries, he can’t seem to stop himself.
Having intimated that he isn’t comfortable talking about Princess Diana’s personal life, within a few short minutes he’s off — frolicking through some of her ‘deepest secrets’ like a spring lamb skipping through lush green grass.
Although he concedes his ‘time as butler has gone’ and that ‘William and Kate are our future now’, he’s soon telling me that he was ‘the only man Diana ever trusted’.
Having started on his favourite subject, he continues — about everything from how the Princess and her lover Hasnat Khan would have made a ‘golden couple’, to his private conversations with the Queen and observations about Kate Middleton’s underwear.
He says: ‘Hasnat was the true love of her life, not Dodi Al Fayed, and she’d want people to know he was. Myth and stories have grown up over the years that aren’t true.
‘I am the last witness to that part of history. Hasnat was the man she wanted to marry, not Dodi.’
Of course, all these are deeply personal matters. But Paul Burrell seems to think it is his duty to tell, and re-tell, Diana’s story.
‘I was privy to so many secrets at the heart of a storm which touched millions of people around the world,’ he says rather pompously.
It is true that Burrell, 55, was privy to Diana’s secretive two-year affair with Dr Khan, the cardiologist who stole her heart almost two decades ago.
The relationship, which ended in 1997 only a few weeks before her death, is chronicled in the new film Diana.
Hasnat, nicknamed ‘Mr Wonderful’ by a besotted Diana, is now 54 and living alone in East London.
Diana’s confidante and butler of 10 years, Paul Burrell, recently opened up about the last conversation he had with the “the people’s princess” before she tragically died in Paris on August 31, 1997.
On Celebrity Big Brother, Burrell revealed that prior to leaving for Paris, where she was killed in a car crash at the side of Dodi Al-Fayed, she seemed morose.
He shared that she she was surrounded by “desperation” and “loneliness.” Before she departed, she asked him, “You will be there when I get back won’t you?” in a dejected tone that concerned him.
In his tell-all book, The Way We Were, Burrell added that although it was suspected that Dodi and Diana had a great romance, that was mere speculation.
“The true love of her life, her soul mate, was a heart surgeon called Hasnet Khan,” Burrell told ABC News. “She met him while she was visiting someone in the Royal Brompton Hospital. The elevator was about to close and someone stuck their foot in it. The doors opened and she looked into his eyes and said, ‘I knew there and then.’”
Ironically, Burrell says that Khan was “the one man that could have helped her the day she died.” A few days after her car accident, Khan called him, devastated, saying that he wished that he had the chance to perform the procedure on her ruptured aorta.
Burrell says Khan called him crying, “I could have saved her! I could have saved her!”
‘I was there from day one to the day it finished,’ he says. ‘I organised this thing: romantic candlelit dinners, telling chef that the Princess was hungry so could he do double portions — I’d do it all in secret and provide this world for them. I was this go‑between who made it happen.
‘I used to be given the night off to drink with Hasnat to see what he was thinking, what he was planning, what he was doing.
‘We shared something so special and so secret. Very few people knew, but I was the controller. I would shop for gifts for him and take letters to the hospital. I was privy to her deepest, darkest secrets.’