Ex-wife of Princess Diana’s gay butler Paul Burrell says she won’t attend his same-sex wedding
The ex-wife of Princess Diana’s butler, Paul Burrell, is refusing to attend his same-sex wedding.
The royal butler, described as Diana’s “rock”, divorced from his wife of 32 years late last year.
Maria Burrell, who lives in Florida, won’t be attending the ceremony.
The couple’s two sons, Nick, 24, and Alexander, 27, are expected to be there.
Despite being married for three decades, it’s reported Burrell had known he was gay for much of it – and Princess Diana was the only person he confided in.
A close friend said: “Maria won’t be going to the wedding.
“She is very supportive of Paul, and there is no resentment or bitterness between them.
“There is only respect, and they still have a lot of love for each other. Maria was told she’d be welcome to attend, but I’m sure people will understand why she has chosen not to go.”
He is set to marry Graham Cooper, a man he’s apparently been seeing for a decade.
The Burrell’s had been living separate lives for five years, but having reportedly remained close friends.
She didn’t take kindly to the revelation and gave him an ultimatum to find a wife.
It was only publicly revealed the ex-royal butler is gay on Monday.
His spokesperson confirmed the news, telling The Sun: “I can confirm their forthcoming marriage.”
Mr Burrell, 57, became famous after he wrote a tell-all book of his life with Princess Diana.
He went on to do TV shows all around the world, and appearances on reality TV shows I’m a Celebirty Get Me Out of Here and Celebrity Big Brother.
In October 2002 he was accused of stealing items from Princess Diana, after her survivng family complained to police.
However the trial collapsed when the Queen personally intervened, remembering that Mr Burrell had told her he was safeguarding some of Princess Diana’s possessions.
It was almost unheard of for the Queen, to whom Burrell had been a footman, to intervene in a trial.
Speaking of his new engagement, a source said: “Paul’s friends and family all know but for a long time he kept it a closely guarded secret.
“And for a time, literally nobody knew.
“He did share it with Diana while he worked with her because they were so close.
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“But at the time she was the only woman he felt he could tell.”
The happy couple are due to tie the knot in a circus-themed wedding ceremony next month at a five-star venue.
The Sun reported that: “They don’t want too many people there and have limited the guest list to close family and friends.
“But it’s going to be suitably lavish. No expense has been spared. Paul sees this as a new chapter in his life.
“They want to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. Guests have a rough idea of where it will take place.
“But to increase the suspense Paul and Graham have kept the exact details of the venue quiet.”
2017 marks 20 years since Princess Diana passed away, with a special statue being commissioned to mark the occasion.