Latest Butler Claim: Philip Bullied Di
Attention continues to swirl around Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell, 44, who is spilling his guts to Britain's Daily Mirror in a series of articles for which the tabloid has reportedly paid him $625,000.
Among the latest revelations: Diana was distressed by how she was perceived by her stern father-in-law, Prince Philip, who considered Diana a "harlot" and a "trollop" and warned her in correspondence that she was damaging the royal family.
According to Reuters, Buckingham Palace is now declining comment, saying that letters between members of the royal family are a private matter.
Burrell -- who is currently visiting New York to, as he told reporters, tell his side "of a trial that never should have happened" after he was accused by Diana's family of stealing her possessions -- confirmed the existence of the letters, though he declined to get into specifics as to their content, other than to say, "I know the hurt these letters caused Diana."
But others have spoken up about their content. Andrew Morton, who had Diana's cooperation in preparing a book about her life, wrote that she had been hurt by four letters from Prince Philip, which were, Morton wrote in his "Diana: Her True Story," "by turns bitter, reproachful, conciliatory (after a fashion) and condemnatory," but did not reveal their contents.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday newspaper, Diana's friend Simone Simmons claimed that she had read the messages from Philip.
"They were the nastiest letters Diana had ever received," the tabloid quoted Simmons as saying. "She had death threats which were worded nicer than his letters."
Simmons told the tabloid that the prince called Diana a "harlot" and a "trollop," was also less-than-kind to Sarah Ferguson (the former wife of Prince Andrew) and advised Diana to tolerate Prince Charles's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles.
"He wrote words along the lines of if Charles has someone else, she should put up with it," said Simmons.
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