Kate will wear ghost of Diana on hand: Ex-butler

Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 12:32 PM IST

Toronto: With just three days left for the British royal wedding, Princess Diana`s butler Paul Burrell said in an interview here Monday that the late Princess of Wales would have loved Kate Middleton as her son William`s wife.

"I think Diana would have loved Kate. I think she would have loved her to death because all she wanted for her boys was something she never had - a happy marriage,`` Burrell told CTV network on its breakfast show.

But the man who saw the realities of the royal household at close quarters for more than 15 years - first as the Queen`s footman and then as butler to Diana - cautioned the bride-to-be about the with these words: "Be careful what you wish for. The minute she walks out of Westminster Abbey as a princess her life will change completely.``

Burrell had angered Prince William and Prince Harry by his 2003 tell-all book "A Royal Duty" in which he had revealed Diana`s marital unhappiness and how her fairytale wedding at the age of 20 to Prince Charles proved to be short lived.

"We cannot believe that Paul (Burrell), who was entrusted with so much, could abuse his position in such a cold and overt betrayal...It is not only deeply painful for the two of us, but also for everyone else affected and it would mortify our mother if she were alive today,`` the two princes had said in their reaction to the book.

Cautioning the bride-to-be about her future life, Burrell said that there signs from the start of Diana`s engagement to Charles that her life would not be her own.

He also expressed his shock that Middleton will wear Diana`s engagement ring as her engagement ring Friday.

"There`s a myth surrounding that ring. That ring symbolized more than a piece of jewellry.... It symbolized a love Diana had for Prince Charles, which wasn`t reciprocated,`` he said.

"Kate will forever wear the ghost of Diana on her hand.``

Remembering how Diana had chosen this ring for her engagement, Burrell recalled the day the crown jeweler came to the palace with his attache case filled with a selection of royal engagement rings.

He said after Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles had perused the rings, he was sent to bring Diana into the room.

After Diana chose this as her engagement ring, she told him, "I think it`s a bit big, a bit gaudy.``

Burrell said Diana`s earliest days in the royal palace were lonely.

"She was almost locked away. They didn`t take care of her in the early days.``

He recalled how Diana would call up her staff just to have a chat with them and send him to McDonald`s to pick up some regular commoner food for her.

"Diana was 18. She was shy, naive, and immature in lots of ways. She`s attacking this (marriage) like a business and so she should."

However, Kate Middleton, 29, is entering into the royal household under very different circumstances, he said.

"Kate has had eight years to get used to the royal family. Diana didn`t have that.``

But he still warned the bride-to-be that she will have to sink or swim once she becomes part of the family business.

"Look around Kate. This firm, this system that`s been around for 1,000 years isn`t going to change that much,`` said the former royal butler.

IANS