Meghan Markle has been warned by Princess Diana’s former butler that she needs to “conform and do as she’s told” if she wants to avoid falling out with senior royals.
Paul Burrell, 60 — who was Diana’s butler for 10 years before her death in 1997 — was speaking to interviewers with the U.K.’s Channel 5 TV documentary, Kate V Meghan: Princesses at War?. He then compared Meghan to his former boss, Diana, saying that they were both “strong and independent” women who married into the “most traditional family in the country,” according to the Daily Mail.
Burrell, who also worked as a footman to the queen for many years, gave some insight into what life was like for newcomers marrying into the British royal family.
“Buckingham Palace is a minefield for any person going in there for a first time,” he explained. “People set traps, they weren’t very kind to [Diana] coming into this world… Who would want to be part of that family?”
“How is [Meghan] going to cope? Princess Diana was brought up in a house that was as big as Buckingham Palace, and even she was lost.”
But Burrell did have some useful words of advice to help Meghan stay afloat in the choppy waters surrounding the royal family. He told her that she should “stay close to Harry,” as her husband is clearly devoted to her — and, as a senior member of the family, would protect her.
He also advised her to build a close relationship with the queen, who is the undisputed head of the family and — as Burrell put it — the one that “mattered the most.”
While Meghan’s background suggests that she will have no trouble building relationships within the royal family, the recommendation that she should “conform and do as she is told” may come a little harder to her.
There have already been reports that she is finding the constraints of royal life debilitating, especially as she has been unable to speak out in response to the relentless speculation about her relationship with her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton. Her instincts are likely to stand up for herself — and the requirement to maintain a dignified silence has apparently been “frustrating and stressful” for Meghan.
Prior to joining the royals, Meghan was active on social media. There, she was vocal about issues such as feminism, politics, human rights, and animal rights. The royals penchant for hunting has apparently been particularly hard for her to stomach.