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A Royal Duty Hardcover – October 25, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Virtually all of these authors appeared to hew to the theory that, since the law does not recognize slander as a legal action when the topic at hand is a deceased party, they then could engage in character assassination, so long as the same re-hashed old tales sold yet more books.
In contrast, A ROYAL DUTY is the rare book which attempts to defend and explain the way in which the Princess of Wales lived her life. Thus, simply for going against the tide, it is valuable.
Perhaps author Paul Burrell is slightly overwrought in his devotion to the late Princess. He's entitled to be. He dedicated his career to her. Reading between the lines, he has not yet gotten over his first glimpse of her corpse, presumably after its autopsy, a sight for which he was emotionally unprepared, and a sight from which her ex-husband and her family must have been shielded.
Was Burrell in love with Diana? Probably, a little bit, in a way that defines the concept of perfect and platonic love. As such, he is her protector. He says that he wrote this book to defend Diana, to explain her side of the story to her sons, and to justify his complete lack of guilt in the witch hunt which Scotland Yard and the royal courtiers mounted against him. On all counts, he makes a compelling case and, reading this book, I came to believe him.Read more ›
This book was a book that would have been well worth reading even if I never heard of Di before. I really like how Paul Burrell put enough about himself and his own attitudes in this book so that I could not only see where he was coming from, but also could try to understand better the British attitudes toward royalty. He takes you through a walk of what it was like for him to be the Queen's butler for a while before he gets into the story about Diana, and though I felt impatient at first with this, I realized as I read on that by doing so he helped me to have a much more full and realistic perspective about Diana's life -- not only her choices, but the environment in which she lived.
It was also endearing how he wrote this book as someone with a great love and great respect for the Princess. He reveals a lot of surprising things, and many of them caused me to feel more empathy for Diana than ever before -- and to feel as if I have been introduced to her on a very personal level. It was as if her best friend sat with me over coffee during a 3-day retreat and recounted all that he could divulge without dishonoring pledges made to her. I was kind of surprised that he told as much as he did, being that he was and is so deferential to the Princess, but I suspect she would have wanted it that way. He makes it clear that there are also some things he will take to the grave. Just the way a best friend would.
As I finished this book I felt a sincere gratitude to Paul Burrell for having written it. I had admired Di from afar; now I feel I know her ever so much better, and admire her more than ever as well.Read more ›
Yes, Diana had many lovely qualities, but the image that comes through (from someone who was very close to her) is of a woman who is also demanding, needy, self-absorbed and manipulative (not to mention, a terrible judge of character when it came to male companions - could she have chosen anyone worse than Dodi, who picked a drunkard to drive their car on that last, fatal evening).
Paul Burrell clearly agreed with the Princess that the marriage breakdown was all Prince Charles' fault, even though he only joined their household after the marriage was over in all but name (when they both had lovers) and has no idea what really went on during the first six years (I think the marriage was doomed, Camilla or no Camilla).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So interesting! And also so sad to peek into a very privileged but lonely life.Published 12 days ago by Diana
Easy reading. A look into the lives of the Royal family in England, with a particular slant on the relationship of the Princess with her butler. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Robin Menrath
Well written, insightful, enjoyable. This book was not what I expected it to be, and kudos to Mr Burrell for having the courage to maintain his convictions, despite the backlash.Published 4 months ago by Madame Bête Noire
Yes, this is a good read, started on holiday, had to leave the book there but bought it here. Finally able to finish.Published 10 months ago by Terry L. Freeman
A book I looked forward to reading every night.
I was sorry when I finished the last page that I would not have such a good book to read. Read more