London, Nov. 3 (Reuters): Paul Burrell, the royal butler dramatically cleared of stealing belongings of the late Princess Diana, will not spill secrets that would embarrass Britain’s royal family, his lawyer said today.
Queen Elizabeth’s belated intervention in the trial last week, just before Burrell was about to take the stand, allowed the 44-year-old butler to walk free.
The collapse of the case against the man Diana called her “rock” prompted the media to scorn police and prosecutors and float conspiracy theories about the timing of the royal move.
Newspapers said Burrell was considering offers of up to £1 million to tell his story and may even sue for wrongful prosecution.
But his lawyer, Andrew Shaw, said while legal action was possible, Burrell — who has kept quiet for five years since Diana died in a Paris subway car crash — would not start telling all now.
“I don’t think he will ever tell all. There will always be the important intimate secrets that he was entrusted with by the princess that will never be told,” Shaw told BBC Television.
Burrell had been accused of stealing over 300 personal items belonging to Diana, divorced wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, after her death in 1997.
The prosecution’s case had rested upon what it thought was the fact the butler had not told anyone he was taking the items.
But in a move which torpedoed the £1.5 million trial, the Queen revealed that Burrell had in fact told her five years ago he was taking some of Diana’s belongings for safekeeping.
Why, asked the papers, did she wait so long before speaking up' Many said the Queen may have acted before Burrell had a chance to reveal damaging secrets, including details of the love lives of Diana and Prince Charles as their marriage fell apart.
Shaw left little doubt that what Burrell knew was potentially explosive. “Paul had been privy to a number of private conversations between the Prince and Princess,” he said.
And while he would not have said anything “gratuitous” about the Royal Family, he would have been forced to protect himself when he took the stand in court, Shaw said.
Nonetheless, Shaw rejected the conspiracy theories. “I think... (the Queen) appreciated the significance of the conversation quite recently when she saw the way things were going in court,” he said.