London, Oct. 14 (Reuters): Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell, the man she once called “her rock”, pleaded not guilty today to charges of stealing hundreds of her personal belongings, from letters to lingerie.
Burrell, Diana's butler until her 1997 death in a Paris car crash, arranged her social calendar, drove her around and was at her elbow during her busy round of charity engagements.
He was charged last year with stealing 342 items from her London home, valued at more than $7.8 million, between January 1997 and June 1998.
Today, prosecuting barrister William Boyce QC told the Old Bailey that Burrell was accused of stealing items belonging not only to Diana, but also to her former husband, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and their son Prince William.
He said the stolen items included a letter from Diana to former Prime Minister John Major, a letter to Diana from Mother Teresa and a collection of CDs ranging from Tchaikovsky to Chris De Burgh.
“The crown alleges Burrell stole a considerable amount of property belonging to the estate of the late Princess of Wales, and that he also stole some property belonging to the Prince of Wales and...his Royal Highness Prince William,” Boyce said.