Princess Diana's butler reveals the late royal was left in tears after 'disrespectful' phone call with Martin Bashir

Princess Diana's butler, Paul Burrell, has claimed that the beloved royal ran out of the room 'in tears' after she overheard his phone call with Martin Bashir

Princess Diana's butler, Paul Burrell, has claimed that the beloved royal ran out of the room 'in tears' after she overheard his phone call with Martin Bashir . Diana, Princess of Wales, a key volunteer of the British Red Cross Landmine Campaign listens to speaker Ken Rutherford who was injured by a land mine in Somalia at ceremonies at Red Cross headquarters in Washington DC 17 June 1997
(Image credit: JAMAL A. WILSON / Stringer Getty)

Princess Diana's former butler has revealed that the late royal was left 'in tears' after she overheard his "disrespectful" phone call with Martin Bashir. 

Princess Diana's former butler has claimed that Martin Bashir once made the late royal cry after she overheard him speaking poorly of her on the phone. 

Paul Burrell, who worked for the beloved princess for 10 years, revealed that the British journalist called him weekly to dig up intimate details about his boss's personal life. These phone calls occurred after Diana's notorious BBC interview with Martin in 1995, in which she made several shocking claims about her relationship with Prince Charles and the Royal Family. 

During the conversations, Martin would allegedly use dismissive language in reference to Diana and complain about her reluctance to open up to him. 

Martin Bashir interviewed Princess Diana on Panorama in 1995

Martin Bashir 

(Image credit: Getty)

It just so happened that the princess was in the room for one of these incriminating phone calls—and heard every word Martin uttered about her. 

"I heard her steps coming towards my pantry, and as she came in she mouthed, ‘Who is it?’" Paul told the Sun. 

Princess Diana and butler Paul Burrell

Paul Burrell and Princess Diana 

(Image credit: Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

“I mouthed ‘Martin’ and she went, ‘Shh,’ and put her ear next to mine."

Martin continued speaking on the other end of the line, completely unaware Diana was listening. 

"Martin was being very ­disrespectful, everything was ‘she’ this and ‘she’ that," Paul recalled. "He was asking where she was and, ‘Has she been out with one of her boyfriends again?’" 

According to Paul, the Panorama presenter suggested Diana was being deliberately evasive. 

"He also spoke as if she was flighty," he said. "He was complaining she wasn’t taking his calls and wasn’t sharing as much with him as he wanted her to. It was a very uncomfortable moment."

Diana was understandably jolted by the phone call, having previously had positive interactions with Martin. “Whenever he addressed her in person he was always very polite and would call her ‘Your Royal Highness’," said Paul. 

“After I put the phone down, she looked distraught and she said to me, ‘How could he be like that?’" 

The unsettling realization shattered Diana's trust in Martin, prompting her to fully cut off their friendship. 

"I knew from the look she gave me then that the tide was turned," said Paul. “I knew that was the end of her friendship with Martin."  

The royal icon was left feeling so "betrayed" that she "burst into tears and ran out of the room." 

"She had wanted to help him, she had given him a career-­making world exclusive," Paul explained. "But she realized all he wanted was to squeeze as much as he could out of her." 

This isn't the first time Martin Bashir has been accused of using questionable tactics to derive information from Princess Diana. 

A recent investigation into the BBC reporter's interview with the late royal in 1995 revealed that he had shown fake bank statements to her brother, Earl Spencer, to gain access to her. The findings of the inquiry were publicly addressed by Prince William, who claimed that the BBC's "lies" in their Princess Diana interview worsened his parents' relationship. He also called for the interview never to be aired again, dismissing its "legitimacy" and condemning it for letting the public down.  

Martin, who resigned from the BBC on May 14, has since apologized for his conduct, calling his forging of bank documents "a stupid thing to do." However, he has continued to stand by the credibility of the interview, insisting that the documents had "no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.