Who is Paul Burrell? Princess Diana’s butler and I’m a Celebrity star – The Sun

PAUL Burrell first found fame as the butler and long-time friend of Princess Diana.

He has gone on to make numerous TV appearances since her death in 1997. Here’s what we know about him.


Paul Burrell starred in season four of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of HereCredit: ITV

Who is Paul Burrell?

Paul Burrell was born on June 6, 1958 before working as a footman for Queen Elizabeth II and butler to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Burrell entered the royal service when he was 18 and became the Queen’s personal footman a year later.

He was inspired to work for the monarchy after a childhood visit to Buckingham Palace from his coal-mining hometown Grassmore, Derbyshire.

Burrell became a close confidante of the princess, who once described him as “her rock”.


He divorced his wife of 32 years, Maria, in 2016, to wed boyfriend Graham Cooper on April 3, 2017.

The £30,000 civil partnership ceremony in the Lake District was held at the Linthwaite Hotel in Bowness, Cumbria.

The butler had repeatedly denied claims he is gay, but a source said Diana was the only woman whom he ever told his true sexuality.

Burrell came under fire in 2008, during an inquest into Diana’s death.

It had just emerged he secretly copied letters between her and other members of the Royal Family.

He told the hearing it was for “historical importance”, but was accused of being a “porous rock”.

In January 2023, Burrell revealed that he was suffering with prostate cancer.

How long did Paul Burrell work for the Royal Family?

Burrell worked for the Royal Family for a total of 21 years.

He began his royal career straight out of school and served as a servant for much of his adult life.

Burrell joined the household of Charles and Diana at Highgrove House in 1987.

He became the Princess’ butler and stayed in this role until her death in 1997.

Burrell described himself as Princess Diana’s “best friend” and claimed that she described him as “the only man she ever trusted”.

What TV shows has Paul Burrell been on and when was he on I’m A Celebrity?

Burrell appeared on season four of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, in 2004.

He stayed in the jungle for 16 days, making it to the final of the competition.

The series was won by comedian, Joe Pasquale, with Burrell narrowly coming second by a 2% margin.

He participated in four Bushtucker Trials and gained 75% of his stars.

In 2023 he is returning to our screens for I’m A Celeb spin off I’m A Celebrity… South Africa – filmed in 2022.

The ex royal butler has also made multiple other television appearances throughout his career, mostly due to his close relationship with the Princess.

Burrell was the Royal Correspondent on the TV show Lorraine in the run-up to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

He was picked out by bosses because of his close relationship with Harry’s mother Diana.

Is Paul Burrell married and does he have any children?

Burrell got married to Maria Cosgrove in 1984 and the pair were together for 32 years.

Cosgrove used to work for Prince Philip and the couple met while they were working at Buckingham Palace.

The pair had two children together, Alexander and Nicholas.

However, in 2016, Burrell told his then wife that he wanted to separate due to his concealed homosexuality.

Paul then went on to tie the knot with his boyfriend, Graham Cooper, in April 2017 in Bowness-on-Windermere.

He said his ex-wife believed that their sons would not want a relationship with their dad any more, after finding out he was gay.

“She said, ‘You could lose your sons. You’ll lose them because they won’t understand,’ but she was wrong,” Burrell said.

Both his sons attended the wedding.

In 2019 Burrell sold his florist shop and retired to live with his husband in their house in Cheshire.

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