9 JANUARY 2004
Prince William has called off a meeting with Princess Diana's former butler, after one of his mother's private letters found its way into the tabloid press. He had requested the meeting with Paul Burrell after the controversial publication of the royal servant's memoirs last year.
The Prince apparently hoped to win a pledge from his mother's one-time confidante that he would not make any more damaging revelations. It seems he changed his mind, however, because he feared Burrell would only use the meeting to make more money.
His new decision comes after the publication of a letter in which Diana voiced her fear that Prince Charles was plotting to kill her. After his 2002 trial at the Old Bailey collapsed, Paul Burrell said he would never betray his former employer's trust. He subsequently wrote a book containing intimate secrets and damaging revelations about the royal family, however.
"There is a limit to how many times Burrell can swear he is taking Diana's secrets to the grave and then reveal them a few days later," said a source close to the royals.
According to newspaper reports, Prince Charles and Prince Harry were both staunchly opposed to William's plans for a face-to-face with Mr Burrell. Prince Philip, meanwhile, said that any meeting with the former royal servant would "dignify his treachery".