What Princess Diana's Butler Saw

A new book by Princess Diana's former butler, confidant and friend includes his own photographs of the late princess' inner sanctum in Kensington Palace -- her sitting room, her private dressing room, even the collection of teddy bears in her bedroom -- along with an intimate account of Diana's private life, including her secret and not-so-secret loves.

For instance, while she died in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997, at the side of Dodi Al-Fayed, Paul Burrell told ABC News' "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" in a worldwide exclusive interview that Al-Fayed wasn't the key romance toward the end of Princess Diana's life.

"The true love of her life, her soul mate, was a heart surgeon called Hasnet Khan," Burrell told ABC News' Kate Snow. "She met him while she was visiting someone in the Royal Brompton Hospital. The lift -- the elevator door -- was about to close and someone stuck their foot in it. The doors opened and she looked into his eyes and said, 'I knew there and then.' "

"The Way We Were," to be published by Harper Collins on Sept. 12, is almost certain to be seen as another act of betrayal by the royal family, after Burrell's first book about his life with the princess, "A Royal Duty," ruffled royal feathers.

In 2002, Burrell, Princess Diana's butler for 10 years, was put on trial for the theft of hundreds of Diana's possessions, but the case collapsed after no less a person than Queen Elizabeth intervened, saying that she remembered he told her that he had taken the items to safeguard her legacy. At the time, the view was that the trial was stopped because the palace feared the butler might reveal too many secrets in his testimony.

Well now, perhaps, he has.

Burrell says he timed his second Diana book to coincide with the start of the 10th year after her death. Burrell told Snow he expects more royal criticism, but felt moved to write the book anyway.

"It's been nine years, Kate, since the princess died," he said. "Now, an American person would say, if the first lady was killed in a road traffic accident, would they be happy that this was nine years and still no answer to that investigation? So I thought, rather than people write stories and tell lies about the princess, I want to tell the truth, tell people how she was, who she was and how she felt."

This time, he told Snow, there will be no sequel, "and you can hold me to that."

Throughout the 285 pages of his book, Burrell refers to the princess as "the boss," and writes that he would "like to think I've been faithful, loyal, brave; friend more than servant."

'Ludicrous' Conspiracy Theories

In England, Aug. 31, 1997 is one of those awful days that everyone remembers, in the way that most Americans remember Nov. 22, 1963, the day that President Kennedy was shot. In a way there is a parallel there, because the tragic death of the "people's princess" almost a decade ago has generated the astonishing theory that she, too, was assassinated.

Paul Burrell says such a conspiracy theory is "ludicrous," and of course he's not alone in that view.

According to the official, exhaustive French inquiry released in 2002, Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi Al-Fayed, died because the driver of their armor-plated Mercedes was drunk and lost control of the vehicle as it entered a narrow tunnel at the Place d'Alma in Paris at about 100 miles an hour, pursued by paparazzi on motorbikes.

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