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The Way We Were: Remembering Diana Hardcover – September 12, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Princess Diana's butler presents his second book of recollections on the famous royal whose life fascinated the media and whose death bereaved countless strangers. Though early pages are forebodingly plain, Burrell moves from a self-conscious chronicle of the princess (and her friend the butler) to sincere, heartfelt reportage of Diana's bravery as she soldiers through life post-royal divorce and finds a new life's mission helping the helpless across the world. More to the point, Burrell gets dishy: one bittersweet chapter tells of the modest and brilliant heart surgeon whom Burrell insists was Diana's true love, while another examines the complex relationship between the princess and Fergie, the Duchess of York, with asides on the Queen Mother, the Queen and Charles. Much is made of Diana's love for her sons and her search for truths to live by, which Burrell believes propelled her to "an emotional coming-of-age" before the end of her brief life. Though there's nothing particularly revelatory here, Burrell's heavily-covered subject matter benefits from his obvious and genuine affection ("She was real. She was breathtakingly so, and it was the one quality that hit people between the eyes more than any other when they met her"), making this an endearing, if perhaps superfluous, testament.
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About the Author

Paul is married to Maria, and the couple live in Cheshire. They have two sons, Alexander and Nicholas.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061138959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061138959
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer from Queens on September 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite some other Diana book authors (I shall not name them here) who bashed and trashed the late Princess of Wales and are now shedding crocodile tears over Burrell's book (the effect on the "poor boys" when they themselves labeled Diana a "neurotic", or "damaged" or worse), I find Burrell's book an excellent choice for fans of the late Princess. It describes the Princess as a woman with a wicked sense of humor, a devoted friend, and someone who must have been very interesting to work for. She comes across as an excellent mother devoted to William and Harry whose pictures appeared throughout Diana's royal apartments during her lifetime. Diana's devotion to Hasnet Khan is detailed here as well; Burrell maintains that her relationship with Dodi Fayed would have broken up eventually had it run its course. I see nothing objectionable in this book, Burrell offers interesting insights into the late Princess. This is a must read for fans of Princess Diana. The photographs included are marvelous--there is a very touching picture of Diana and Mother Theresa among them.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By darncat on October 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If I read only this book and then someone gave me a pop quiz on Dianas' life I would make a 100. My favorite by far of any book I have read about Diana.

Someone was wondering why the author would even mention the incident in the garden. He says in the book that Diana herself said, that the way the Rumor mill worked in her life SOMEONE would surely claim at some point in time that it was HER baby. He wanted to tell the world this was NOT the case. He straightens out other rumors which have surfaced since the last book as well.

This man is still protecting Diana and I adore him for it.{I WANT a loyal Butler Manservant guy......} He mentions the photos are likely to be the ONLY ones to capture how she really lived her daily life .The Royals made museums out of the OTHER royals residences' who have passed, but tore through Dianas' place like it was just the home of a "tenant" who has come and gone. Ripping everything out, down to the electrical sockets. touching. And Royal.

I think all things considered Diana would have definitely preferred having pictures of how she left her desk preserved for all eternity....{since I guess it was too much to ask of the Royal family to have preserved the ACTUAL desk } and in exchange a few secrets be told. She was after all the Mother to the future King of England................I think there are a few people who might be remotely interested in where she sat as she composed letters to her son.........

This book was wonderful and although it gives details of her is not in a disrespectful way that would betray her memory. He refers often to how she laughed a LOT and her laughter would carry throughout the house.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina Broussard on September 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Paul Burrell did an excellent job on this book. I laughed and cried reading it. It's so full of emotion. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a real since of what it was like taking care of the "Boss" . The pictures are beautiful, and you can certainly get a feel of how it was to actually live in KP apt's 8 & 9.

Paul, thank you for sharing and enlightening me on how Diana was treated by the Spencers, the Royal Family and friends. I would have never known what she went through without you.

You were a true friend to her and to those who think he should not have written this book, that somehow it may have been an invasion of her privacy or whatever, believe me when I tell you that this book is the most Precious Memorial anyone has done for her. He knew what a privilege it was just knowing her and getting to be that close to her. From the beginning to the end, he had her best intentions at heart always!!

Get this book you will be so glad you did.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Love2Read on October 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So many people are quick to condemn Paul Burrell for writing a second book about Diana. I don't think he did it for the money, I think writing is his way of keeping Diana's spirit alive. He does it both for himself and for all of the people who never knew Diana but wished they had. I have read many books on Diana and her life. Not all good, and some very questionable, but Paul's books always have the ring of truth in them. There is no doubt that he loved her and a part of him died with her, so why fault him for trying to keep her with him a bit longer?

He repeats a few things that were in his first book, A Royal Duty, but there are also many new things that have never before been revealed. Maybe some people see this as a betrayal, but after you read the book I think you will understand that Paul felt that there were stories being told that were untrue and needed to be set straight. I found it to be a very interesting book and I finished it in a few hours. Don't take that to mean that it is a short book not worth buying, because that is far from the truth. It is just a book that makes you want to read it without stopping, which is what I did.

The pictures of the interior of Diana's apartment at Kensington Palace alone are worth the price of the book. Paul took them himself and he did a splendid job. The only thing I found questionable was a picture of Diana's desk that was said to be "just the way she left it". Paul said he took these pictures during the weeks shortly after her death, but clearly, on the desk, is a set of rosary beads that were given to Diana by Mother Teresa. These beads are said to be the same ones that were placed in Diana's hands before her body was returned to London for burial.
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