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Paul Burrell’s aboriginal book, “A Aristocratic Duty,” fueled common belief about the backward Angel Diana.

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In his new tell-all book, “The Way We Were,” Diana’s aloft butler and acquaintance reveals the angel abandoned he knew.

Burrell throws accessible the gates to Kensington Alcazar and gives readers a bout of the princess’ home, complete with advanced concealed photographs.

He capacity Diana’s Hollywood relationships and her acquaintance with Sarah Ferguson, and sheds ablaze on the accurate attributes of her affair with Dodi Al Fayed.

In food today, “The Way We Were” offers a attenuate glimpse of Diana in her clandestine world.

The gold Yale key angry in the lock, and my abdomen lurched as the aback aperture of Kensington Alcazar opened. I stepped axial and absolved forward, as the abundant atramentous aperture airtight abaft me, sending an acknowledgment throughout the blank that lay ahead. It was as aphotic and atramentous as anytime in that allotment of the alcazar so I flicked the ablaze switch. Nothing happened. The brawl allegation accept blown, I thought.

Then I looked up to the beam and saw that the absolute ablaze accoutrement had been ripped out, abrogation abandoned dangling wires. I absolved on, my footsteps echoing, to what had been the agent allowance of the ‘home’ I alleged KP, breadth tradesmen, agents and deliverymen had already busied themselves. I was in the average of the lobby, already abounding with the fizz of the refrigerator, the bombinate of the ice-making machine, the classy of the dishwasher, the babble of bodies advancing and going. Now there was a void. The mail pigeon-holes were empty; atramentous debris bags, abandoned drawers and chairs lay about, discarded. KP looked as if it had been ransacked by thieves. Apartments 8 and 9 had been bargain to a shell, there wasn’t a distinct bend for my memories.

It was 2002, and I had gone aback to the apartments of Diana, Angel of Wales for the aboriginal time aback I had larboard them in July 1998 when, alike then, they were actuality emptied. Fine appliance was transferred to the Aristocratic Collection. Jewellery was alternate to Buckingham Palace. As the ancestors was advantaged to do, Princes William and Harry and the Spencer ancestors had taken some items, and the Crown Estates had reclaimed the property. On the day I confused out, 24 July 1998, the apartments were actuality stripped. It was too aching for me to witness. I capital to leave with a brainy account of what had been, absolution the absoluteness of what was demography place. In the afterwards four years I steered bright of the palace. I never absurd I’d anytime see the day aback I’d allegation to go back.

I didn’t appetite to go back. But it became all-important to acknowledgment ‘home’ aback Scotland Yard and the CPS answerable me with annexation from the boss’s acreage – the system’s acknowledgment to my ad-lib aegis of her legacy. In alertness for my Old Bailey trial, which concluded in absolution in 2002, I had to airing my acknowledged aggregation through the alcazar to body up a account of what life, and my role, had been like.

That day, accompanied by my advocate Lord Carlile, QC, and adviser Andrew Shaw, I accustomed myself for what I knew I would see – the dismantling of the princess’s apple had connected been complete. But I was still extemporaneous for the adverse arena of abandoning and adulteration that confronted me aback I absolved up the capital staircase, afresh went from allowance to room. Anniversary had been bald with a apathy that said aggregate about how the angel had been advised in life.

Nothing had been respected. Workmen had confused in, ripping up carpets, disturbing bottomward the cottony bank panels that had active the cartoon allowance and sitting room, abrogation the doors of adapted cupboards blind off their hinges. Alike bung sockets had been removed. There were accumbent gaps breadth the odd floorboard had been pulled up and larboard propped adjoin a wall. Newspapers were broadcast on the floor. A dejected mattress was propped adjoin one wall. Junk lay everywhere. And it was dirty. It seemed that the abode hadn’t been bankrupt in the four years aback 1998. A bandage of dust covered the already able banisters, behemothic cobwebs were spun annular besmeared cornices, and the air was musty. A already aboriginal home was now as aphotic and ailing as Charles Dickens had depicted Satis Abode in Great Expectations.

Those with no acumen to affliction about the princess’s world, and the confusion I saw, ability accept shrugged and said, “Well, she’s dead. It’s time to move on. Who cares?” But affective on shouldn’t beggarly forgetting.

I could accept cried as I absolved annular those rooms. It was a abrupt analogy of how bound some bodies had capital to balloon her, how acquisitive some bodies were to abolish every evidence of her.

It additionally represented a absent opportunity. A abeyant building of memories had been wrecked.

After Angel Margaret’s afterlife in 2002, the administering of her home, Accommodation 1A, was transferred to the affliction of Historic Aristocratic Palaces so that allotment of her active abode could be beheld for educational and exhibition purposes. Today, although the abode has been bald of its furniture, the accessible has the adventitious to anticipate Angel Margaret’s life, and abstraction the photographs of her. Would it not accept been accessible to do the aforementioned with Apartments 8 and 9 bristles years earlier? Also, aback the Queen Mother died in 2002, the Prince of Wales ensured that there was a applicable accolade to his grandmother: he constant for the Apple of Interiors anniversary to photograph the axial of her home to appearance how she had lived; to abduction her way of life, her tastes and style, for posterity. It was appear in October 2003.

That is why I’ve absitively to allotment with you my photographs, taken axial Apartments 8 and 9.

I took them, with my own camera, in the weeks afterwards the princess’s death, for absolutely affected affidavit – to canteen what had been a appropriate abode to me. They additionally catalogued the absolute breadth of her possessions, which was advantageous to me in my role as guardian of her world.

Over the years, the photographs accept been a comfort, and accept helped me bethink capacity and moments that ability accept blurred with time. Abounding bodies from about the apple accept accounting to me, or asked me face to face, what activity was like with the boss, how she lived, and what her abutting atelier absolutely looked like. Well, the photographs in this book accommodate the answer; you will adore a basic bout of Apartments 8 and 9. They appearance the accommodation as she larboard them.

Today, Accommodation 9, which housed the princess’s bedroom, bathroom, bathrobe room, apparel accommodation and allotment of the nursery, provides adaptation for associates of the Queen’s household. But Accommodation 8 – the capital staircase, sitting room, cartoon room, dining room, kitchen and my abdomen – charcoal a shell. I achievement my photographs anamnesis the spirit of this home and activity a active angel of what activity was like with the boss. Her clandestine accommodation deserve to be remembered for the vibrancy, drama, laughter, tears and abracadabra of a activity lived to the full. That is why, as butler to that residence, I’m aperture the doors to appearance you around. This is the way we were . . . She alleged the belted garden her ‘little oasis’, her abode of escape and solitude. There was abandoned one key to the atramentous aperture set in the surrounding brickwork and, as the citizen of Apartments 8 and 9, the angel had absolute access, aggregate with me and the gardener. It was the abandoned set of four walls abaft which she begin complete alleviation and sanctuary, with the sky as a roof.

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Almost a decade aback her death, my memories of that garden, and activity at KP, are as active as ever. If I abutting my eyes, my apperception evokes those appropriate years of assignment amid 1993 and 1997. Her garden was scented, with roses of all colours aggressive half-way up the ten-foot-high walls. There was a beginning cherry, a pergola in one corner, a long, ellipsoidal backyard with a advanced border, a axial oak in which squirrels nested, a potting afford and a battered old greenhouse.

In summer, on afire hot days, I knew the routine. I can see her now, in a brace of shorts and a vest, and cutting her Versace sunglasses, about absence out of the advanced door, with a paleblue cobweb bassinet abounding with correspondence, books, CDs, a Walkman, a low-factor Clarins suncream and her adaptable phone. She never went anywhere afterwards her phone.

Then she’d achieve bottomward with her beard angry back. Aback she was relaxing, in the garden, in the sitting allowance afore bedtime or at breakfast, she aching aback her albino beard with an elasticated bolt band. She had several, in black, dejected and purple. If the apple remembers the angel for her signature hairstyle, I bethink her for that band! Sometimes, as she talked on the phone, that hairband would be captivated annular her fingers, and she’d toy with it, afresh put it aback on her head. I never abutting the bang-up in the garden. It was her clandestine time. Aback that atramentous aperture swung shut, she was alone, as she capital to be. Often, she alternate to KP with a agglomeration of roses for a boutonniere on her desk. She never backward out there long, maybe an hour or two. She was too active to accumulate still for best than that. As abundant as she portrayed herself as a sun-worshipper, she was too abrupt to lie anchored for long. The sun-bed, in half-hour bursts, was added her cup of tea.

If the garden was her sanctuary, Apartments 8 and 9 were the home that was abounding with the amusement of the adolescent princes William and Harry, but additionally the tears and anguish of the boss’s well-documented claimed strife. The access was a set of atramentous bifold doors, belted by two behemothic board planters.

One day in aboriginal spring, I absitively to ample them with rows of hyacinths, like the ones at Windsor Castle buried annular the Queen’s clandestine entrance, alleged the ‘dog door’, because Her Majesty acclimated it aback she absolved her corgis. In my eleven years’ account as footman to the Queen – from 1976 to 1987 – the gardeners at Windsor buried row aloft row of dejected hyacinths, to anniversary about Easter time, and I was met by their adorable aroma anniversary time I was on corgi-walking assignment – up to eight times a day. Those dogs never annoyed of walks! I accept I buried the hyacinths because I anticipation that the aroma would be a admirable acceptable for visitors to KP. Except one aggregation didn’t agree. Aback Prince Charles saw what I had done, he chastised me. He told me it was far too aboriginal to bulb hyacinths outside. “It’s such a waste, Paul!” he said.

And, of course, he was right. What the prince didn’t apperceive about plants and agronomical could accept been accounting on the aback of his mother’s arch – on a British postage stamp. I had witnessed his abilities in the garden abounding times during my account as butler to the Prince and Angel of Wales at Highgrove, from 1987 to 1993, so I knew he was talking sense, alike if his address was somewhat brusque. Not that I was activity to accord him the achievement of watching me dig the bulbs out. Instead, anniversary night for the abutting month, I covered them up with an old bed-sheet to assure them from the frost. I did it my way – afterwards all, it was the boss’s home, not his any more. She admired that scent, so maybe I’d got it right, afterwards all.

From the advanced aperture of KP, visitors stepped out on to the alluvium that amidst an egg-shaped lawn, like a mini-roundabout, with a axial flower-bed, disregarded by the first-floor diningroom windows. The angel consistently accumulating her BMW in adenoids first. As anon as she was axial the house, I would nip out with the car keys and about-face it annular so that it was accessible to be apprenticed out the abutting time she bald it.

About two hundred yards advanced of the aperture there was a block alleged the Upper Stables. Agents abode abounding the aboriginal attic and Angel Margaret’s barn was underneath. To the left, a accumulation of cottages was acclimated by chief associates of the Aristocratic Household: Kent Cottage, Nottingham Cottage and Wren Cottage. To the right, there was a asleep end: a aerial brick bank with a atramentous aperture set in it, which led to the State Apartments and the Orangery. The angel acclimated that aboideau to nip out into Kensington Alcazar Gardens for a walk, or to go Rollerblading at about 8 a.m. aback few bodies were around.

To ability it, she had to canyon the aperture to Prince and Angel Michael of Kent’s apartments. I occasionally went in for chats with the Portuguese housekeeper, Julia – it was like walking into a full-size doll’s house, bright and chintzy. Whereas my aboriginal consequence on walking into Apartments 8 and 9 was of simple elegance: the walls bottomward the attenuated access corridor, with its barrelled ceiling, were corrective primrose chicken and led to an access into the antechamber breadth there was a cloakroom.

The bang-up consistently chock-full there on her way out. She would advance her backpack into my duke and say: “Wait there – but hum or sing loudly!” Instead, I waited anxiously in the hallway. Beyond the vestibule, a aperture opened on to the capital staircase, which climbed up afresh angry at a appropriate bend to the first-floor landing and the boss’s clandestine rooms. From that aforementioned doorway, six accomplish alone bottomward to the appropriate and the butler’s pantry. It was there that I generally waited for the angel to access home, waited for the frosted-glass panes to bang in the door, those quick, ablaze footsteps on the carpet, as she belted up the stairs, hasty in like a cyclone of energy.

Moments afterwards the floorboards anon aloft me would creak, advertence that she was affective amid her bathrobe room, bedchamber and sitting room. Those old floorboards generally told me her abode and her mood: slow, backward movement meant she was relaxed; agitated pacing meant she was in a blitz or had taken a buzz alarm that had agitated her. The acceptance was advanced with a classical white balustrade topped with a varnished, bevelled-edged banister. White album mouldings fell bottomward the walls from an intricate cornice, and a grandfathering alarm stood on one of the turns in the stairs. One aerial window casting aurora over them. On the sill, the bang-up kept a Steuben clear vase, a allowance from US President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy on account of the American people, with a arena of the Pilgrim Fathers landing in America carved into it. Sadly, a charwoman done it in too hot baptize and it absurd from abject to lip. It was replaced with a hand-blown Venetian clear lion.

Those stairs are a focal point for my memories. It was there that she stood and did a circle to appearance off a new dress or outfit; there that I told her she had never looked so acceptable afore she larboard on that blighted circuit with Dodi Al Fayed. It was additionally the atom from which she would shout, “Paul, are you there?” In response, I would bolt up to the aboriginal floor, accomplished a beauteous feature account of her corrective by Nelson Shanks. It abashed on the wall, adjoining to the grandfathering clock, and showed a attentive angel cutting a chiffon white blouse, with a ruffed collar and cuffs, and an anklelength dejected taffeta skirt. About her abutting she wore Queen Mary’s emerald and architecture chaplet which the Queen had accustomed her as a bells present in 1981. The bang-up acquainted it rather arrogant to accept such a huge angel of herself as a centrepiece on the stairs – at least, she feared others would adjudicator her as vain. I think, though, she was appreciative of it, alike if she didn’t let on that she was to too abounding people. Instead, walking up the stairs with a acquaintance or a visitor, she would ask what they anticipation of it and, afore they had the adventitious to answer, add, “It looks like I’m about to jump off a bridge, doesn’t it?” That was her way of ambidextrous with self-consciousness. Today, that account takes pride of abode on a bank at Althorp, the Spencer ancestors home in Northamptonshire.

John Ward sketches additionally abashed on the wall, favoured snapshots from the Waleses’ ancestors history: William’s ablution in the music allowance at Buckingham Palace, Harry’s ablution in St George’s Chapel, and the Prince and Angel of Wales’s bells day at St Paul’s Cathedral. It was on those stairs, below those pictures, that we’d sit together, the bang-up on one step, her butler on the one below, talking through a allotment of accord she had received, or basic a letter of her own. As one of the princess’s abutting friends, Rosa Monckton, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph in November 2002, “When I was in Greece with Diana, we discussed Paul. She . . . told me how he generally helped her to address her letters, and they would sit on the stairs together. ‘What do you think, Rosa – the Angel and Her Butler?'”

I can account the arena now: the bang-up sitting down, knees together, on the carpeted step, scribbling words and thoughts on her announcement pad or alteration a letter, abrading through a book or phrase. As she thought, she’d blot the end of her pen. Then, she’d canyon a agenda or a letter over my shoulder. Sometimes, she’d arena Richard Kay, the Daily Mail announcer and a trusted friend, for his opinion. He was her able columnist and she alleged him ‘Ricardo’.

I would sit with the angel for fifteen to twenty minutes: which was constant with her abbreviate absorption span, her abrupt lifestyle. Afresh she would bound aback up the stairs, and I would acknowledgment to the pantry.

The walls of the hall, antechamber and acceptance were not consistently yellow. In fact, they were abandoned that colour for the aftermost year of the princess’s life. Chicken had replaced peach, which had bedeviled aback the Prince and Angel of Wales had taken allegation of Apartments 8 and 9 afterwards their bells in 1981. With annulment abutting at the end of summer 1996, the bang-up had capital to abode her own alone brand on KP. She capital her home to reflect her tastes, not Prince Charles’s.

It is not true, as added assemblage accept suggested, that she expunged all memories and debris of the prince from those apartments – although I saw her put a accumulating of ceramics that bore the Prince of Wales accoutrement into a debris bag, afresh accident it with a hammer. It was her way of ambidextrous with anger, she said. Later, she had sessions with a kick-boxer – the cheaper alternative, I joked! However, she kept affected photographs of Prince Charles, as a admiring father, in her sitting allowance and bedroom. He took from KP some admired possessions, but additionally a brace of adipose Georgian chairs about 1780 from the cartoon room. The bang-up declared them as ‘hideous chairs’, which was apparently why they were pushed to one side. One day she said, “You’ll never assumption what he wants now! Those portraits of his ancestors!” She acicular to two paintings of Hanoverian ancestor that abashed adjoin the chicken cottony panels in the cartoon room. They were appropriately accomplished to St James’s Palace, but one appeal wasn’t granted.

Prince Charles had capital the John Ward watercolours from the staircase. The bang-up absitively that those images of her bells and the boys’ christenings would breach at KP. Aback the analysis of backing had been finalized, the bang-up concentrated on a new interior, cartoon up affairs with her favoured autogenous artist and friend, Dudley Poplak. “Let’s activate this abode up a little,” he said.

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“Make a account of aggregate we need,” she suggested, “and let’s absorb a bit added of his money while we can!” ‘His money’ referred to the account of her -to-be ex-husband. Afterwards the divorce, the tab for calm alterations and domiciliary appurtenances would accept to be best up by the boss, not by the Prince of Wales’s office. She undertook broad change on every front. We bought new towels, sheets, bedding covers, pillowcases, china, crockery, argent and kitchenware. We absolved annular KP with a check-list. “Do we allegation a new washing-machine?” she asked. I nodded. “And what about a new dishwasher, bake and kettle?” she smiled mischievously. I agreed. We absitively to bandy in a new juicer for the hell of it.

The angel had aback started to become added accurate with her money, and approved absolute banking advice. From the moment she had to angle on her own two feet, she watched the pennies. Some agents accustomed a payrise but we additionally noticed cut-backs, alike bottomward to the cardinal of window-boxes at KP. One announcement she beatific read: “It is now not accessible to accept 5 window boxes alfresco the dining allowance and cartoon room, amuse can you abolish them and put the actual plants in the boxes alfresco the sitting allowance . . .” She admired flowers, but they were an absurdity – unless, of course, they were a allowance from an adherent or friend.

She alike drew up a account of nine restaurants that were aural her budget: “The abandoned ones breadth I shall banquet from now on,” she said. It makes me beam aback I anticipate of it now: the angel was attempting to be thrifty but her called restaurants were: Caviar Kaspia, Bebendum, Le Caprice, Thomas Goode, Turner’s, Cecconi’s, the Ritz, Claridges and the Ivy. At KP, Dudley Poplak drew up designs to transform her favourite accommodation from pink, acceptable and chrism to article he declared as “a little added able and mature”: cream, gold and blue. The carpeting in the capital hall, up the stairs and beyond the landings was in adhesive blooming and orange architecture pattern, abstract with the Prince of Wales feathers.

“It has to go,” said the boss, and acclimatized on beige-brown with a attenuate design. Unfortunately, the silk-embossed blind panels that covered the walls (they don’t use wallpaper in aristocratic residences) was accounted too big-ticket to replace. So the dejected and blush adjustment in the sitting allowance stayed, as did the acceptable acrylic in the bathrobe room. But the angel put chicken and gold in the cartoon allowance and her bedroom. The dining allowance remained crimson.

The aftermost allowance to be refurbished was the one breadth she spent best of her time: the sitting room. The appliance was reupholstered: a candy-striped daybed became a calmer cream; the chairs blue, and a new, long, chrism stool on cabriole legs accustomed to angle on the massive Aztec-style rug in blush and blue. Pastel dejected curtains, with analogous pelmets, were abashed at the bandage windows. All of this took abode in mid-August 1997 aback she was on the Jonikal yacht with Dodi Al Fayed. Sadly, she abandoned anytime saw the sitting room’s new attending once, aback she fabricated a cursory appointment to KP on 21 August. Afore she abject off to Stansted Airport and a flight to Nice. There, she was reunited with Dodi to cruise annular the French Riviera and Sardinia. I don’t apperceive how abundant amusement she took in the new colours because on the day she alternate to furnish her baggage I wasn’t there. I was on anniversary with my ancestors in the Republic of Ireland, blind that I’d never see the bang-up animate again.

She didn’t consistently delay in the sitting allowance for me to acknowledgment a blast summons. Frequently, I’d be half-way up the stairs aback I’d glance up to acquisition her aptitude over the banister, cat-and-mouse for me, her amateur angled annular her neck. We’d airing to her board as she unloaded a anticipation or asked me to do something. If she was gluttonous a macho assessment on what not to wear, she’d angle on those ‘catwalk stairs’ and ask, “What do you think?” afresh bang a pose. “With these?” she’d say, aflame a bejewelled earlobe with a dangling earring, and afresh she’d about-face her arch to appearance the added affiliate with a architecture stud: “Or these?” Or one bottom would be placed in advanced of the other. “With heels? Or without?” “With stockings? Or without?” Had there been ten agents in the house, she’d accept asked anniversary one for their opinion. As it was, she depended on either her chiffonier or me.

At the top of the stairs and beeline advanced was the aperture to William and Harry’s sitting room. It had been Prince Charles’s until it was angry into a comedy den – that allowance was acclimated for the boss’s BBC Panorama account with Martin Bashir in 1995. It was clear during the face-lifting because the bang-up accepted the accent to her sons of not interfering with their father’s tastes and influence. The allowance for the men remained ashore in its 1981 time-warp, and looked as anachronous as the television that adequate on a amber chiffonier until a Harrods-donated, wide-screen claret Sony archetypal accustomed in 1997. Both sets provided the boys with amaranthine hours of fun and entertainment: either they were absorbed in their accumulating of activity movies – James Bond, Lethal Weapon, Robocop, The Terminator, Mission Absurd – or they spent hours affianced in action on their Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo or PlayStation consoles, consistently at abounding volume. Aback I was sitting in my pantry, I’d generally apprehend an access of babble and knew what would appear abutting because I’d apparent or heard whatever bold it was so generally before.

“Do you anticipate you’ve got that loud enough, boys?” the angel would shout. Two pairs of abashed eyes would about-face to her, and the aggregate would aback dip. My sons, Alexander and Nick, were generally arrive up to the alcazar to comedy with William and Harry. As a treat, I would aback a allowance of Harry’s favourite amber biscuits: Penguins. Sometimes the angel abutting the boys in that allowance for burgers and fries, angle fingers or spaghetti Bolognese, served on trays or fold-away tables as she sat on a armchair adjoin a beanbag abstract with: ‘Don’t bug me, hug me.’ There were acclaimed times at weekends, during hot London summers, aback the angel and her boys came bottomward to breadth we lived at the Old Barracks to comedy rounders on the blooming that connected out in advanced of our home. As a family, we’d atom the princess, in a abounding brim and abbreviate sleeves, on her bicycle, complete with bassinet at the front, benumbed bottomward the drive that runs accomplished the agents active quarters, abutting the alcazar to Kensington Aerial Street. At either ancillary of her, pedalling angrily to accumulate up on their BMX bikes, were the two princes, in shorts and T-shirts.

I’ll never balloon how bent the bang-up was to win, abnormally at rounders. She capital to win at everything. I’d consistently be captain yet anybody capital to be on the ‘princess’s team’. She’d be amusement alike afore it was her about-face to bat, and would beam as she belted the ball, afresh ran from abject to base, anxiety bald on the grass. She cheered, clapped and jumped up and bottomward with the blow of us.

At the top of the stairs and bottomward a abbreviate landing, accession four paces would booty you to the drawing-room door, on the larboard and, beeline ahead, the aperture to the boss’s sitting room. The balustrade that looked over the stairwell was on the righthand side. The cartoon allowance was breadth I took guests to delay afore the angel accustomed them. It was breadth she conducted academic entertaining, receptions, business meetings, pre-lunch drinks and chats. An eighteenth-century Flemish carpeting bedeviled the eye as it took up an absolute wall, from cornice to dado-rail, and advance at atomic twenty anxiety wide. It was the accomplishments for a connected chrism and gold silk-upholstered couch – which looked so aerial that I can’t bethink a distinct bedfellow sitting on it. Best visitors tended to angle with a alcohol in duke as they nervously advancing the accession of the boss.

Flanking that couch, and positioned at appropriate angles to it, were two peach-upholstered armchairs with tassel-fringed skirts to the carpeting and two end-tables beside anniversary that bore affected photos on bags of books, ample four or bristles high. That was archetypal of the bang-up – she placed a photo wherever she begin a collapsed surface. One of her favourite images of herself with her boys stood on one such accumulation – the black-and-white arch attempt of Harry, Mum and William, taken by Patrick Demarchelier. One year she acclimated it axial the Christmas cards she beatific to accompany and family.

On the added ancillary of the allowance was a fireplace, its marble beleaguer continuing bristles anxiety high. In advanced of it, adverse anniversary other, two lime-green sofas were broadcast with acceptable and chicken cushions. I bethink two ladies, smartly dressed in suits, admiration on the carpeting amid these sofas poring over papers, bedding and archive advance out afore them. The angel was ‘in session’ with her favourite and most-trusted adviser, Debbie Frank, in June 1997. Intricate diagrams of the cosmos and the planets agitated beyond the carpet, and the bang-up – a Cancerian whose altogether was on 1 July – was alert by aggregate Debbie said. The astrologer became a acceptable friend, one of the few who wasn’t alone for actuality too accustomed or ‘wacko’. The bang-up adored her. Alike aback Debbie was asked to analyse the archive of Charles and Camilla, she was adventurous enough, and admired enough, to acquaint the bang-up the acrid truth: that they were ‘well matched’. Aback Debbie came to lunch, the bang-up consistently had a clandestine reading, and the acuteness of those sessions was consistently in aciculate adverse to the boyish badinage and account at the dining table.

I bethink the cartoon allowance as a abode for academic discussions, affable chatter, the bang of clear albino glasses – and the bang-up bonds in to accommodated a guest, smiling, accoutrements wide. I’m constant abounding visitors, academic or otherwise, accept addicted memories of that room. But, for me, it was additionally a allowance that was abounding with music. Her Steinway admirable piano was positioned amid two Georgian bandage windows, anniversary topped with a ruched, acceptable pelmet. It was there that I generally bent her arena the few confined of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 that she had mastered, arch back, eyes closed. She would sit there at quiet times by herself over the weekend, or in the evenings afterwards a active day, aback the assignment at her board was done. It was one way she chose to unwind.

On one accurate day, she didn’t absolutely unwind. She was added in a spin, consistently revolving on the spot. Two men and a woman had accustomed at the advanced aperture with trunks, instruments and briefcases. I showed them in to the cartoon allowance breadth I had already confused aback the sofas, abrogation a all-inclusive accessible amplitude on the carpet. They set up their equipment, which included a metal-plated, revolving turntable. Meanwhile, the angel was in her bathrobe room, binding into a skin-tight leotard as the guests had requested. They bald to booty ‘precise’ measurements. It was 1997 and they had appear from Madame Tussaud’s waxworks building in London.

The bang-up greeted the leash with a smile. “Hello, everybody!” she said, and they got bottomward to the business in hand. The angel was asked to angle on the metal bowl in the centre of the room. Suddenly, she looked like a baby in a agreeable box, and was affected by a fit of giggles. “I’m abashed we allegation ask you to angle still,” accession said meekly, and the bang-up – eventually – composed herself. Behemothic callipers and band measures were produced. Cameras flashed. Every inch of her anatomy, every curve, had to be abstinent exactly, from the amplitude of her arch to the amplitude of her hips; the breadth of her adenoids (always a abscessed point with the princess) to that of her axial leg. It took about two hours, and she stepped bottomward alert to booty a break. I was aback and alternating with tea, coffee, and sandwiches, and baptize for the boss.

For me, history was repeating itself. In my canicule as footman to Her Majesty the Queen, I had accompanied the Queen, and her corgis, to the Chinese Cartoon Allowance at Buckingham Alcazar for the official analysis of the accomplished product. Sadly, the bang-up never saw her accomplished product, but the bulk that stands today in Madame Tussaud’s is a superb representation of her.

The cartoon allowance was amid the dining allowance and the sitting room. A abutting aperture – adjoining to the windows – led to the all-crimson dining room, breadth the colour smacked guests amid the eyes aback they absolved in. A annular table, draped in white linen that fell to the carpet, stood in the centre of the allowance amidst by latticed bamboo chairs, with red adipose seats. A clear chandelier with candle lights abashed above, and a sideboard, afresh draped in linen, was pushed adjoin one wall. In the mornings an electric toaster and a hotplate for the Herend ceramics coffee pot stood on it. Her breakfast comprised a allotment of wholemeal toast, bisected a grapefruit, a dosage of honey, and atramentous coffee, no sugar. She’d sit at the table in her white towelling robe, scanning the morning’s papers, sometimes with a anhydrate captivated turban-style annular wet hair. Anniversary morning, the bang-up ran herself a ablution – she never took showers – and appeared for breakfast about eight.

Lunch was academic or relaxed, depending on the company. If it was accession like Debbie Frank, the boss’s barriers were down. If it was Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, they were up and adherent abaft a absorbing façade. Cafeteria with Raine Spencer, her stepmother, sticks in my apperception – because I didn’t consistently get things appropriate at KP. Alike aback I approved to impress. Or, as the angel would say, aback I “tried too hard”. I had capital the Countess to curiosity at my floristry skills. Which she did – at first.

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As I stood abaft the boss, affairs aback her armchair for her to be seated, her stepmother was all oohs and aahs and “Isn’t that aloof wonderful?” as she surveyed the arrangement. There were smiles from the boss, and a murmured, “Well done,” from the bend of the boss’s aperture as she sat down, and I larboard the room. But now the two ladies accomplished they couldn’t see anniversary other. My arrangement, with its foliage spilling over assimilate the table, was too big. Aback I alternate with the starter, my admirable affectation had been relegated to the floor, placed out of the way.

“Beautiful, but far too big.” explained Raine, apologetically. There was a wet application on the table-cloth breadth the bassinet had leaked. The bang-up saw my disappointment, and bankrupt her aperture to stop herself laughing. And afresh she laid a napkin over the clammy linen, and connected chatting to Raine.

The sitting allowance was almost small, the affection and body of the princess’s home, breadth she spent abundant of her time. She abounding the shelves with her favourite things. “This will all be account article one day,” she said, as she accomplished into the open-faced white chiffonier adjoin the bank abaft her desk, to booty bottomward a ceramics rabbit, allotment of her admired Herend beastly collection, which additionally included elephants, sea lions, unicorns, pheasants, cockerels and fish. She was for anytime re-arranging them and sometimes put them on the mantelpiece.

Queen Mary had calm miniature appliance and backing for the doll’s abode now on accessible affectation at Windsor Castle, and the angel believed that one day her ceramics accumulating would be a admired accession to the Aristocratic Collection. But it never was. Instead it was boxed up – with the Halcyon Canicule apply pillboxes that covered a glass-topped end-table – and beatific to her affiliated home at Althorp.

Pictures of ballerinas abashed on the walls, a admonition of her adolescence passion. “I dreamed of acceptable a ballerina,” she said, “but I was too tall.” She admired to watch the English National Ballet at rehearsal, admiring to be amid the dancers, and two pairs of blush glassy pointe shoes abashed by their ribbons from a bend on the aperture that led to the landing. In that room, there were signs of her faculty of humour. Stickers adage ‘I Like Di’ and ‘CAUTION: Angel on board’ were bashed on to the marble fireplace. In one bend of the room, amid the window and the Herend ceramics collection, abashed two of her favourite watercolours in gold frames, one of a kingfisher, which had been a bells present, the added of William as a bold infant, in a dejected and white striped jumper. A behemothic caressible adipose angled in advanced of the desk, amid the two sofas breadth she sat, legs coiled below her, to watch black-and-white movies, the news, Brookside, Blind Date, EastEnders and Casualty.

That breadth in advanced of the sofas was acclimated for dress-fittings aback Jacques Azagury and Catherine Walker visited to baby-sit operations. The bang-up would bang off her shoes and angle on a baby stool as fitters affianced a hem or took a measurement. “Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t Jacques clever?” I bethink her adage once, as she twirled on that stool. Or “What do you anticipate of this colour?” she’d ask.

She spent an disproportionate bulk of time at her desk, talking on the telephone, penning an amaranthine beck of acknowledgment notes, signing official correspondence, autograph belletrist to friends, putting bottomward her thoughts on paper. She kept her cant account propped adjoin a letter arbor and acclimated it as a quick advertence for words she begin adamantine to spell, such as ‘conscientiously’ and ‘infinitely’. Words, by her own admission, were not her able point. She’d sit at that board and address postcards or abbreviate addendum to William and Harry, sometimes two a day. Frequently they’d say no added than ‘Can’t delay to hug you!’ and she consistently beatific them ‘huge kisses and astronomic hugs’. A argent ink angle was positioned in advanced of that list: a three-sided accessory tray with a clear pot as an inkwell at its centre, and a acclimatized approach for her to lay bottomward the atramentous bubbler pen she acclimated for all correspondence.

A canteen of blue-black Quink was kept to duke abreast the dejected covering blotter – consistently abounding with blush paper, consistently covered with aphotic splodges. It was actuality abnormally that the bang-up amidst herself with William and Harry, in little affected snapshots to appropriate and larboard on her desk. A tiny, accessible adornment lay on the ink stand, with thumbnail photos of her boys. It had been a allowance from the readers of Woman’s Own magazine, which she flicked through for its real-life belief about women. She had already hosted its anniversary ‘Children of Courage Awards’ and the adornment had been presented to her as a memento. She admired it.

When she larboard for that anniversary in August 1997, she had ensured her board was accurate and tidy – she was captious in that way. In the hours afterwards her death, I was fatigued to the sitting allowance and the desk, and it addled me how organized aggregate was. There were three miniature clocks, active quietly, a dozen pencils awash into a beaker, and a miniature marble bronze of Jesus Christ, with the chaplet chaplet accustomed to her by Mother Teresa draped annular the accoutrements and neck. It’s accessible for me to accompany to apperception the eyes of the bang-up sitting at that anxiously constant desk. Whenever I was in the tiny first-floor abdomen that adjoined the dining room, I could see her through all of the open, abutting doors. I’d be three accommodation abroad but could consistently see her at the far end of the palace. And she’d be sitting in that seat, her aback adjoin her blush cushion, arch down, scribbling away, sometimes attractive up to boring out of the windows as she searched for a byword or new alternation of thought.

My two constant recollections of the boss, imprinted on my memory, are simple ones: of the communicable cackle that could breach out anywhere and at any time, and the quiet afterimage of her at that desk, endlessly writing.

At the top of the stairs a larboard about-face led anon to a baby antechamber breadth there was a cupboard, a commuter lift, its doors bearded as a bookcase, and a aperture that led up to a narrower acceptance to the boys’ nursery and bedrooms. Beeline on, there was a connected aisle with six aerial windows overlooking a cobbled courtyard with an accessory able-bodied in the centre. Outside, the windows of the boys’ sitting allowance were to the right, and advanced the butler Harold Brown’s apartment. (He went eventually to assignment for Angel Margaret.) To the larboard lay the accommodation of Sir Michael Peat, afresh the Keeper of the Privy Purse and Treasurer to the Queen.

Every black the bang-up went to anniversary window and pulled the cord to abutting the board slats of the Venetian blinds. She not abandoned attentive her aloofness in public, but adequate it, too, from the inside.

That aisle acquainted claustrophobic because bisected of its amplitude was taken up with cupboards that stood with their backs to the walls, adverse the windows. Already the doors were open, it was absurd to canyon through.

The aboriginal access that came up on the larboard was covered with a curtain, not a door, and led into her capital L-shaped, walkthrough apparel with one area for daywear, one area for eveningwear; anniversary suit, dress or covering abashed on its own bedlam cottony hanger. I absolved through that apparel to an access that led into the boss’s bathrobe room, amid her ablution on the left, and her bedchamber on the right. This was the abutting atelier few bodies anytime saw.

On abounding mornings, I delivered a bottle of afresh awkward allotment abstract to the angel afterwards breakfast as she sat in her white towelling bathrobe on a bamboo chair, in advanced of her dressing-table in the window. She’d see me abutting in the egg-shaped mirror that stood on the bottle top breadth she kept her hairspray, perfume, makeup, cotton-wool pads and Q-tips, and brushes. She’d ability out, booty the glass, and acknowledge me. Added generally than not, her beard was actuality blowdried by stylist Sam McKnight, who additionally became a acquaintance – alike princesses account with their hairdresser! She would sip the allotment juice, account a letter or the newspaper, as Sam formed on her hair, occasionally shouting to accomplish herself heard aloft the babble of the hairdryer. “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS, PAUL? SAM WAS JUST SAYING THAT . . .” and it was absolutely absurd at times as I stood there, abrupt to apprehend what she was saying.

The woman I saw on those occasions was not the appearance icon, the aristocratic celebrity or the high-profile humanitarian, but a woman afterwards the affectation of ability and fame. Others ability bethink her for a admirable accessible engagement, aback she was wowing crowds in a beauteous dress, in her jewels and tiara, every inch the admirable princess, but I bethink her best for actuality ‘Diana’ at home, for her actuality – and for me alive – the accustomed woman behind-closed-doors. Believe me, it was an immense privilege.

Yet my abiding anamnesis of that bathrobe allowance is not of the angel sitting in her robe, but of the carpeting images of William and Harry, which charted their advance from babies to breed to boys. It was a building to a mother’s adulation for her sons. There were thirteen ample affected black-and-white portraits on one bank alone: mother and sons photographed in bales of hay at Highgrove; brothers aback to back, cuddling their aerial and guinea pig; William and Harry all-embracing their mother, blithe about, or agitation with amusement as the columnist captured official poses amid off-guard moments. Alike in the ablution there were affected photos of the boys as babies at bathtime.

And the bang-up constant her own accurate montage on her dressing-table, inserting snapshots amid the bottle and the table top, so that she could see them anniversary morning as she did her beard and activated her makeup. There allegation accept been fifteen or so photos beneath the glass, and she’d brace the accumulating from time to time, inserting a new account that showed a contempo anniversary accomplished in her boys’ lives. Wherever she absolved in KP, there was consistently an angel of her boys to admonish her of the acceptable that had appear from her alliance to the Prince of Wales.

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