Princess Diana’s former royal butler reveals why there’s pressure on Prince William to ‘finish her legacy’

The late Princess's work had 'only just begun' when she died and Prince William is keen to carry it on

Princess Diana and Prince William
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana’s former butler has said ‘it’s down to Prince William’ to carry on her legacy and life's work with his royal projects. 

Celebrating what would have been Princess Diana's 63rd birthday earlier this week must've been a bittersweet occasion for her eldest son Prince William. In remembering and honouring his mother, who passed away in 1997, he was likely reminded that, while he has made sure to make the ‘greatest tribute to his mother’, she isn't there to help him through the turbulent time he faces with Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis. 

And Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, has revealed that there's added pressure for William to continue his mother's legacy and the charity work she had 'only just begun' when she died as his brother Prince Harry is no longer a working royal, meaning he doesn't have the same influence or power as his older brother. That's got to be a whole load of responsibility he's likely struggling with as he cares for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

"People have to remind themselves that Diana was 36-years-old and she'd just begun her work really," Burrell said, speaking on behalf of Spin Genie. "I mean, although she'd packed so much into her life, she was just being launched onto the world stage with the landmines campaign, with work around the world, and when it was cut short, and that's where Harry and Williams passion takes over. 

"Both of them in their own way, want to continue down as work and finish that legacy. That's their passion, I have to admire them both to continue along their mother's path."

But, the butler adds, "Harry can’t continue to work in the same vein as his mother because he’s no longer royal."

He explains, "Harry has great conflict in the fact that his mother was a member of the royal family, his mother supported the royal family until she died and Harry has bolted from the stable and he can't continue the work in the same vein that his mother did because he's no longer royal. 

"You've got to look where they are in the world. Harry just can't do it to the same effect. He can't do it the way William can and so I'm afraid it's going to be down to William to complete his mother's work."

There are a number of ways that William is starting to incorporate his mother's work into his own, not least with a project inspired by her that he hopes will keep his kids' feet on the ground, and it's great to see the ways his mother's beliefs have made their way into his and his kids' lives too with the Prince relying on Princess Diana’s important parenting tactic to raise happy children. 

In other royal news, Queen Elizabeth II's heartwarming approach to motherhood has been revealed in rare letter - and the note includes a hilarious joke about young King Charles III. Plus, it's clear that Prince George, Charlotte and Louis have been keeping their granddad up to date with pop-culture as the King made a hilarious joke in a recent speech. And, Prince George, Charlotte and Louis will spend their school break enjoying ‘picnics, barbecues and beach games’ as the Wales family looks to a ‘brighter future’.

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.