FORMER royal butler Paul Burrell called Princess Diana the “icon of a generation” as film fans flocked to the new blockbuster about her life.
The movie, entitled Diana, had its premiere in London’s Leicester Square with actress Naomi Watts playing the title role.
Mr Burrell, who now runs a flower shop in Farndon, is featured in the movie, which charts the later years of the Princess’s life.
He is played by the actor, Douglas Hodge.
Mr Burrell, who served as butler to the Princess of Wales until her death in 1997, said he hadn’t seen the film yet but hoped it would be a fitting portrayal to the late royal.
“I wasn’t at the premiere,” he told the Leader.
“But I will see the film with an open mind when it is on general release.
“I hope it gives a faithful portrayal because the Princess was loved by so many people around the world.
“She was an icon for a generation.” After Diana’s death in 1997, Mr Burrell received the Royal Victorian Medal for services to the royal family.
He was later accused and acquitted of stealing from the royal household in 2002 and took part in the inquest into Diana’s death.
He said he didn’t know a great deal about Douglas Hodge, the man cast to portray him in the film, other than the actor has been playing Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal in London’s Drury Lane.
It has been a busy few weeks for Mr Burrell, whose sons, Nick and Alex, have been over to visit the UK from America, where they now live.
The duo made sure a very important football match was top of the agenda, the Wrexham v Chester derby fixture at the Racecourse ground on August 31. Alex, 27, is a Red while Nick, 25, supports the Blues.
“They sat together for the game. Nick was pleased at the result,” added Mr Burrell.
“It was lovely to have them home.
“They have gone back to America now.
Alex is a soccer coach and Nick is a film producer. They both live in Florida.
“They usually come over to visit about twice a year. They are due here again at Christmas.”
l Diana (Cert U) is released on Friday, September 20.