Paul Burrell's first book, "A Royal Duty," fueled worldwide speculation about the late Princess Diana.
In his new tell-all book, "The Way We Were," Diana's former butler and confidant reveals the princess only he knew.
Burrell throws open the gates to Kensington Palace and gives readers a tour of the princess' home, complete with previously unseen photographs.
He details Diana's Hollywood relationships and her sisterhood with Sarah Ferguson, and sheds light on the true nature of her romance with Dodi Al Fayed.
In stores today, "The Way We Were" offers a rare glimpse of Diana in her private world.
The gold Yale key turned in the lock, and my stomach lurched as the back door of Kensington Palace opened. I stepped inside and walked forward, as the heavy black door slammed behind me, sending an echo throughout the emptiness that lay ahead. It was as dark and gloomy as ever in that part of the palace so I flicked the light switch. Nothing happened. The bulb must have blown, I thought.
Then I looked up to the ceiling and saw that the entire light fixture had been ripped out, leaving only dangling wires. I walked on, my footsteps echoing, to what had been the engine room of the 'home' I called KP, where tradesmen, staff and deliverymen had once busied themselves. I was in the middle of the lobby, once filled with the buzz of the refrigerator, the whirr of the ice-making machine, the swish of the dishwasher, the chatter of people coming and going. Now there was a void. The mail pigeon-holes were empty; black garbage bags, empty drawers and chairs lay about, discarded. KP looked as if it had been ransacked by thieves. Apartments 8 and 9 had been reduced to a shell, there wasn't a single hook for my memories.
It was 2002, and I had gone back to the apartments of Diana, Princess of Wales for the first time since I had left them in July 1998 when, even then, they were being emptied. Fine furniture was transferred to the Royal Collection. Jewellery was returned to Buckingham Palace. As the family was entitled to do, Princes William and Harry and the Spencer family had taken some items, and the Crown Estates had reclaimed the property. On the day I moved out, 24 July 1998, the apartments were being stripped. It was too painful for me to witness. I wanted to leave with a mental picture of what had been, dismissing the reality of what was taking place. In the ensuing four years I steered clear of the palace. I never imagined I'd ever see the day when I'd need to go back.
I didn't want to go back. But it became necessary to return 'home' when Scotland Yard and the CPS charged me with theft from the boss's estate – the system's response to my spontaneous protection of her legacy. In preparation for my Old Bailey trial, which ended in acquittal in 2002, I had to walk my legal team through the palace to build up a picture of what life, and my role, had been like.
That day, accompanied by my barrister Lord Carlile, QC, and solicitor Andrew Shaw, I steeled myself for what I knew I would see – the dismantling of the princess's world had long been complete. But I was still unprepared for the devastating scene of erasure and decay that confronted me when I walked up the main staircase, then went from room to room. Each had been stripped with a disregard that said everything about how the princess had been treated in life.