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Diana butler aims to open flower shop

THE former butler of Diana, Princess of Wales, is planning to open a flower shop.

THE former butler of Diana, Princess of Wales, is planning to open a flower shop.

Paul Burrell is negotiating a lease on a butcher's shop in Holt, near Wrexham, just across the River Dee from his home village of Farndon, Cheshire.

Mr Burrell is awaiting trial for the alleged theft of personal items of Diana. The items are thought to be worth about £5m.

Plans were still at an early stage but Mr Burrell is optimistic about the shop's prospects.

He said he had wanted to do something similar in Farndon but there were no premises available so decided to cross the river to Holt. Mr Burrell said he felt at ease with the area as he had close contacts with Wrexham Football Club directors and others.

Traders in the village believe Mr Burrell's new enterprise will be good for business.

One said: "With his connections the shop is bound to attract the curious and fans of the Princess but I doubt whether the shop will receive many orders from Buckingham Palace."

Roger Bellis, who runs Holt's garden centre, said: "I'd heard he'd been on a crash course in floristry but it doesn't bother me if he sells flowers."

Mr Burrell, a lorry driver's son was famously described by Diana as "my rock", and worked for the royal family for 21 years.

Mr Burrell, 43, is currently awaiting trial on charges of allegedly stealing 342 items from the Prince and Princess of Wales at Kennisgton Palace on or before June 30, 1998. The items are said to include personal cards from Diana to her eldest son William, some of her clothing, personal photographs, a silver salver and personal letters, including one from Mother Teresa.

Following her separation from Prince Charles in 1992, she made a special request that Mr Burrell be allowed to continue to work for her at Kensington Palace.

His solicitor Andrew Shaw has accused the police of seeking a "trophy trial".

He also told reporters on the steps of Bow Street magistrates' court in London that Mr Burrell would require "the true witnesses to give direct evidence". This is thought to be a hint that the Prince of Wales and Prince William could be called to the witness box when Mr Burrell faces trial.

Mr Burrell had fallen ill at the end of August while holidaying in Florida with his family.

His family are reported to have been worried about the effect stress was having on his health.

He was said to have been been in some distress when he was admitted to the hospital with symptoms including a painful body rash.

He denied the charges when he appeared in court in August and he was bailed until a further hearing due to be held this Thursday.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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