Prince Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, has decided not to attend the unveiling of a new memorial to his late employer in London. The 46-year-old, who provoked a huge controversy with his book A Royal Duty, said he was worried his presence would detract from the original purpose of the event.
Princes William and Harry were known to be deeply upset by his book and there was concern they would come face-to-face with him at the ceremony.
"It would be inappropriate to go, I don't want to hurt anyone," said Burrell. "It is becoming uncomfortably clear that the day could focus on how William and Harry will react to me. So after much soul-searching and with a heavy heart I have reluctantly decided to withdraw in their interests."
It is also believed the Spencer family, who testified against the ex-butler at his trial for theft in 2002, would prefer not to see him there. "I can't allow the day to be dominated by the 'Windsors, Spencers and me'," said Paul. "It would be an irrelevant sideshow."
The new Princess Diana memorial fountain will be unveiled in London's Hyde Park on July 6.