Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE QUEEN IN WARNING TO WILLIAM; Prince 'Naive' to Plan to Meet Diana Butler

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE QUEEN IN WARNING TO WILLIAM; Prince 'Naive' to Plan to Meet Diana Butler

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT JOBSON

THE Queen will move to stop Prince William's planned meeting with Paul Burrell because she is convinced it is a "serious and naive" mistake, senior royal sources revealed today.

She and Prince Philip firmly believe William, as a future king, should not meet Princess Diana's disgraced ex-butler because it will "dignify his treachery".

The Queen, as a concerned grandmother, is also worried about the emotional trauma such a meeting will cause for the

21-year-old. But while she respects Prince William's desire to protect his late mother's memory, the Queen fears that any action he takes might have long-term implications for the monarchy.

One senior Palace aide said: "Her Majesty is deeply concerned that the prince is being drawn into this affair, not least for legal reasons.

"Burrell has repeatedly shown he cannot and should never again be trusted.

There is a distinct feeling here that Prince William is simply being used for commercial reasons.

"Such a meeting will only dignify Burrell's treachery," he added.

While the Queen was informed about and endorsed the joint statement issued on behalf of Prince William and Prince Harry - in which the brothers accused Mr Burrell of an "cold and overt betrayal" - she believes nothing further can be achieved by meeting him.

Sources close to Prince William say he wants to meet Mr Burrell alone, before Prince Harry returns from his gap year in Australia, to stop him spilling more secrets. He has instructed Clarence House aides to arrange the meeting "as soon as possible".

His motivation is that he feels he is the best person to defend and protect his mother's memory.

His decision came as Mr Burrell insulted him and his brother by telling them to "grow up".

The former servant even claimed he would give them "a piece of my mind" if he meets them. …

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