Former royal butler Paul Burrell ‘not happy’ with Crown’s portrayal of the Queen

Ex-royal butler Paul Burrell has said he is ‘not happy’ with the portrayal of the late Queen in series six of The Crown (Steve Parsons/PA)
Ex-royal butler Paul Burrell has said he is ‘not happy’ with the portrayal of the late Queen in series six of The Crown (Steve Parsons/PA)

Former royal butler Paul Burrell has said he is “not happy” with how the late Queen is portrayed in series six of The Crown.

Part one of the final series was released to Netflix on Thursday and depicts the budding romance between Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed, as well as the events surrounding their deaths in a car crash in Paris.

Diana’s former friend, confidant and butler, Burrell, 65, spoke on ITV’s Lorraine programme about the drama’s depiction of Queen Elizabeth, played by actress Imelda Staunton.

Tribute to Princess Diana
The Queen receives floral tributes following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales (PA)

He said: “I’m not happy because I knew the Queen very well.

“I stood beside her for 11 years. I knew her intimately.”

He added: “She was a kind, warm, generous, funny lady who you’d want to be your gran.

“And it’s just that people didn’t get to see her. She was rather a remote figure.

“And I loved her. I was very moved when she died. She was the beating heart of our nation.

“What can I say? I think it’s unfair. Again, she’s been misrepresented or misinterpreted.

“It’s not Imelda Staunton’s fault. She’s just reading the lines.

“It’s the way it’s been written. It’s been written for a reason.”

Burrell went on: “The Queen has been written as someone hard and cold and didn’t care.”

Speaking about the Queen’s response following Diana’s death, he added: “She couldn’t win, the Queen.

“Either stay at Balmoral with her grandchildren and family and keep them safe, or come south to address the people. In the end, she did both.”

It is not the first time The Crown has faced criticism.

In 2022 Netflix defended the fifth series as a “fictional dramatisation”.

Diana, Princess of Wales, during a visit to Angola in January 1997, with her butler, Paul Burrell, seated two rows behind her (John Stillwell/PA)

Dame Judi Dench and former prime minister Sir John Major were among those who criticised the storylines before they aired.

Apart from his former job in the royal household, Burrell is also known for his appearances in a number of TV shows, including I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! in 2004, when he was runner-up to winner comedian Joe Pasquale, and the Australian version of the show in 2018.

He has also contributed to a number of documentaries about the royal family.

– The Crown is being released in two parts, with the first four episodes launched on Thursday and the other four airing on December 14.