LONDON, June 16, 2008 -- Princess Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, and his brother-in-law engaged in a war of words in London tabloids this weekend over new sensational allegations about the royal family.
The former butler's brother-in-law, Ron Cosgrove, told the British newspaper, The News of the World, that Burrell had sexual relations with Princess Diana, and saw The Queen naked.
Burrell has been a provocative figure since Princess Diana's divorce. His subsequent actions have driven Princes William and Harry to accuse him of a "cold and overt betrayal" of their mother.
In The Daily Mail, Cosgrove insisted that he was driven by the motivation to reveal the true nature of his sister's husband in order "to safeguard her own future interests."
Meanwhile, Burrell released a statement: "Myself and my wife feel tremendously sad and hurt that he has resorted to such vengeance by way of response."
Despite the physical distance between the Burrells — Maria Burrell lives in England for most of the year, while her husband lives in his villa in Florida — they remain united, especially in their disgust over Cosgrove.
Maria Burrell's unwavering loyalty to her husband, despite the continuous controversy that surrounds him, overrides her family loyalty. According to The Daily Mail, she claims to be "mortified and hugely embarrassed" by her brother's actions.
Burrell has said that Cosgrove lacks any understanding of the "boundaries and decencies of royal service." He described the claims as "fanciful, distasteful and malicious."
After all, Burrell asks, why would he confide his own infidelity to the brother of the wife he was supposed to be betraying?
However, just how much Burrell lives up to his own description of integrity is debatable, especially in the light of his sensationalist novel "A Royal Duty," published in 2003.
It could be said that using royal connections to make money is becoming a family trait among the Burrells. Burrell's brother-in-law sold his story allegedly for a five-figure sum.
Cosgrove brushed aside claims of financial motivation by turning the spotlight on his brother-in-law.
"I will happily donate my full fee from the News of the World to charity if Paul Burrell agrees to do the same with all the money he has made from exploiting the memory of the Princess of Wales," he told The Daily Mail.
In the statement released after the publication of his brother-in-law's accusations, Burrell expressed his disgust over what he calls an "outrageous insult to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales."
Burrell's fury over these "despicable, incredulous, and untrue allegations" is not only directed towards Cosgrove, but also at The News of the World.
The former royal butler said that publishing such a "blatant invention" undermined all "acceptable standards of fair, responsible and accurate journalism."
"This episode shames and embarrasses both him [Cosgrove] and the News of the World more than it does me," he added.
Ignoring any accusations of hypocrisy, Burrell accused Cosgrove of inventing the story for money, and concluded by saying that he is contacting his lawyers over the allegations.