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Jewish World Review Nov. 20, 2002 / 15 Kislev, 5763

Art Buchwald

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Consumer Reports


The Princess and the butler


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Now that the elections are over we can return to the serious matters at hand. One is the revelation that Princess Di's butler has gone public with many of her secrets.

Paul Burrell sold his memoirs - or rather, her memoirs - to the Daily Mirror and also ITV for $700,000. He didn't do it for the money, but to add to the royal family's memory book.

This is what we know so far. Princess Di had an affair with a brain surgeon, whom she referred to as her "soul mate." Burrell said he smuggled the doctor into Kensington Palace in the back seat of a car, under blankets, so he could have tea and crumpets with Princess Di.

We also know from the butler that Di did some interesting things. For instance, she went out in the street with nothing on but a fur coat and gave money to prostitutes if they would give up their profession. When the anti-fur people heard this, they picketed the palace.

So far so good.

The big trouble came, said Burrell, when the rest of the royals thought he was a snitch. Once Prince Charles threw a book at him when he said the butler told Di where Charles was having his tea and crumpets.

And then there's the Queen, who dropped the suit against Burrell because she either didn't like the publicity or she forgot the fact that she couldn't remember who the butler was.

Then more stuff came out. Burrell revealed that Diana's own family did not treat her well.

Whenever Di's mother telephoned, the butler was instructed to listen in on an extension. The language used could easily have come from the "Sopranos."

The mother was angry that her daughter was dating Moslem men.

This is only the beginning, and there is lots more to come.

Is this as important as other things going on in the world? I think it is. The results of the exposť affect every British citizen as well as the eurodollar. Whether the book would be printed if Di were still alive is another question. Whether she'd wear a fur coat in public is anybody's guess.

I must admit that I met Diana once on Martha's Vineyard. She was not wearing a fur coat, but a silk blouse, Levis and high heels. I decided she was down to earth and not one of those uppity royals who pulls rank on her subjects.

The only other time our paths crossed was at a multiple sclerosis dinner where Princess Di and Colin Powell were being honored.

It was one of the great evenings in New York because everyone wanted to see what Colin was wearing.

If nothing else, the butler's revelations have cheered up the British public. What with wars and rumors of war, he has given a look inside the royal family we never had before.

While reading all the details, would you like cream or lemon with your tea?

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Art Buchwald's latest book is "We'll Laugh again." To commnt on his column click here.

11/15/02: Preaching democracy
11/04/02: The blame game
10/30/02: The threat of golf
10/11/02: The wives of Hidden Valley
10/04/02: Will the real Saddam stand up?
10/01/02: To shred or not to shred
09/20/02: Plea-bargaining crime
09/17/02: Jack and Jane
09/12/02: Signing books is half the fun
09/10/02: To lose one's center
09/05/02: Moot court
08/29/02: I spy-you-spy
08/27/02: No smoking --- I love you
08/23/02: Ashes to ashes
08/14/02: Wall Street good news
08/09/02: Things in my attic
08/01/02: Damage control
08/01/02: Another icon
07/30/02: Draft all the lawyers
07/25/02: House for rent
07/23/02: Doin' time
07/19/02: The loophole game
07/16/02: Money as a game
07/11/02: Just desserts
07/02/02: So you want to win?
06/19/02: Homeland security parking
06/13/02: The Accused
06/11/02: Don't let them know
06/06/02: The FBI changes its ways
06/04/02: RED ALERT
05/28/02: Malice On Purpose: I'm scared!
05/23/02: Barbie Doll
05/21/02: Why Bermuda?
05/19/02: White collar prisons
05/15/02: Those in depression
05/09/02: Mother's Day in the market
05/07/02: Salary negotiations
04/26/02: Homeland security
04/24/02: The greatest breakthrough
04/18/02: Conflict of Interest
04/15/02: The Sign That Couldn't
04/11/02: It's Cherry Blossom Time
04/08/02: The Young Audience
03/31/02: Safe Deposit for Sale
03/26/02: Au Revoir to Soft Money
03/21/02: Andersen Defense Fund?
03/19/02: Celebrity kickers
03/15/02: A Mickey Mouse solution
03/13/02: Shadow government in the sandbox
03/07/02: The Way It Is
03/05/02: Not telling the truth
03/01/02: Book flogging
02/27/02: The players are mad

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