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Diana's mother expresses her fury at Burrell

THE mother of Princess Diana, Frances Shand Kydd, detested her daughter's butler, Paul Burrell, believing him to be just another hanger-on grasping at Diana's celebrity.

And she believed that the collapse of his 2002 trial, in which Burrell was accused of stealing items from Diana, was a "stitch up".

When Burrell, described by Diana as her "rock", later claimed that Prince William would one day thank him for his work, Shand Kydd commented: "I hope his balls burn. Like hell will William ever thank him."

The revelations are contained in the second part of diaries, published today, which chart Shand Kydd's views from the time of Burrell's trial until her death from a degenerative brain disease in June 2004.

They are written by her close friend and journalist, Mike Merritt, following hundreds of conversations with Shand Kydd over a number of years.

Commenting on Burrell's relationship with Diana, Shand Kydd declared: "The trouble is some people thought they knew Diana when they really didn't. There wouldn't be all this trouble otherwise."

She went on: "I knew how to get to Paul... Paul hearing that he was not Diana's only 'rock' would set him off."

The diaries show that when Burrell's trial collapsed - after it emerged suddenly that he had told the Queen about keeping hold of Diana's possessions - Shand Kydd retained her doubts. "It stinks. I feel lousy... People don't like the way it's been stitched up."

The first half of the diaries have already revealed Shand Kydd's contempt for the Royal Family and Prince Charles in particular, whom she described as "spoiled brat".

Today's instalment shows how, as Shand Kydd grew frailer towards the end of her life, that disaffection grew stronger to the point where she became a fully-fledged republican.

She came to believe that Prince Charles was disliked by his two sons and too "selfish" to pass on the Crown to Prince William.

Of the Royal Family, her views became more acerbic. "All duty, tantrums, coldness and selfish callousness!" she declared of the Royals in early 2003 in one typically vitriolic comment.

Merritt's diaries also contain caustic remarks about Prince Charles' partner, Camilla Parker Bowles. Merritt writes: "She had also been thinking of getting a dog and calling it Camilla Two."

Also on the subject of Camilla, she claimed "He [Charles] wants to have his cake and eat it."

The diaries also shed new light on Shand Kydd's complex relationship with Princess Diana.

With disarming frankness, she told how she believed her daughter was too trusting with other people, giving too much of herself when "she herself was needful of affection and understanding".

"She had that from other people - crowds of them - but not from whom she would have wished. Not from the people who mattered," Shand Kydd reflected in 2002.

Shand Kydd also hated the 'Diana industry' and reserved particular dislike for the controversial Hyde Park fountain, now built in her memory but beset by technical problems.

"That fountain is a concrete monstrosity. It's terrible. I don't want anything to do with it," she declared.

Even Jack McConnell does not escape Shand Kydd's acerbic eye. After attending a dinner function with the First Minister in 2002, she commented: "I don't trust him. He has wandering eyes!"

As she grew frailer at the beginning of last year, Merritt recalls how Shand Kydd bore her illness with stoicism, buoyed by her faith.

Her last words to him were that "God wanted me".

 
 
 

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