Heritage

The Queen's Footman Shares What It's Really Like to Work for Her Majesty

"If you multiply Downton by 100, that's Buckingham Palace," says Paul Burrell, who worked with both Her Majesty and Princess Diana.
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Downton Abbey may have introduced viewers to life "downstairs" in the early 20th century, but the Crawley's servants don't hold a candle to the ones who work at Buckingham Palace, at least according to former royal servant, Paul Burrell.

In a new interview with the Mirror, Burrell, who previously worked as both the Queen's personal footman and Princess Diana's butler said, "If you multiply Downton by 100, that's Buckingham Palace."

"It's a village, a world of its own," he continued. "The cherry on the cake is Her Majesty at the top of it all."

Of course, serving the Queen comes at a personal cost, which Burrell emphasized in an anecdote about the day his child was born.

"I was serving the Queen her coffee at dinner and the telephone is ringing in my pantry. 'Don't you think you should answer?' said Her Majesty," he recalled.

"So I went down the corridor to answer and came back… 'Well, what was it?' 'Your Majesty, [My wife] has just been taken into hospital to have the baby.'"

"'Why are you still standing there?' she said. 'Because I'm serving you your coffee,'" he replied.

"She says, 'I can serve my own coffee, go! When you've had your baby'–as I'm running down the corridor –'You will ring me to let me know?' 'Of course, Your Majesty' and off I went."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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