Princess Diana’s ex butler brings royal flower power to jewellery store

Princess Diana’s ex butler is bringing some royal flower power to a fashion jewellery store – after turning down the opportunity to work for Hollywood Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks.

Paul Burrell, who was butler and “rock” to the late Princess of Wales for 10 years and a footman to the Queen for 11 years, arranges the flowers at Mococo at Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham every week.

He set up his business Paul Burrell Flowers, which is based in Farndon, Cheshire, in 1999 with £50,000 left to him by the princess in her will.

Father-of-two Paul who also has a home in Orlando, Florida, said: “Every display that I do for Mococo is individual and tailored for them. I always do something tall and showy because it sits on the counter at the back of the store. It’s always something a little bit dramatic, always something colourful. Pinks and lilacs go very well in this atmosphere.

“I love the team at Mococo, they’re incredible. They always give me a warm welcome and there are always smiles. I look forward to bringing my flowers here and I look forward to delivering my flowers to people’s doorsteps to see the smiles. It’s fun job. It’s not really work to be honest.

“What is wonderful about that jewellery is you can customise it for any occasion so make it personal to you which relates to my philosophy with the flowers, to give it a meaning and that’s very important.”

Mococo assistant manager Andrea Harley, said: “I think Paul’s flowers are absolutely gorgeous. He brings different themes in every week but it always goes with the colour in the store. It definitely helps brighten the place up.”

Paul revealed he misses Princess Diana to this day.

He said: “The princess left me a legacy in her will, and I was the only person other than William and Harry to be left anything. She left me a sum of money which I bought my little flower shop with. So in death she gave me a way forward and a wonderful opportunity to carry on with my life.

“I decided not to go and look after someone else although I had offers from Tom Hanks, and Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise. They all wanted me to go to their homes in Los Angeles and New York.”

He said: “I think missing someone when they’ve passed is part of all our lives. The princess was my friend and I was her confidant and one of the closest people to her other than William and Harry.

“I loved her as a sister and a friend and a boss, and I miss her, but life goes on. When you lose someone that close to you, you don’t actually say goodbye to them. I believe you carry a piece of them with you for the rest of your life.”

Paul’s eldest son Alexander who works as a soccer coach in the US for Florida Rush recently visited the store with his Colombian fiancé Mindy.

Mindy, who is a trainee nurse, bought a Thomas Sabo pearl bracelet with three charms.

Describing the bracelet Paul, said: “It has an A for Alexander an M for Mindy and a little heart that had a union jack in the middle which is a nice memento of their trip to the UK.

“Mindy’s weekend job is inside the costume of Mini Mouse in Disney World so you now know how tall she is.

“She’s a tiny little doll. Only tiny people can fit inside those costumes. They’re no more than five foot tall.”

Paul, who grew up in a poor coal-mining community in Grassmoor, Derbyshire, was trained by the court florist while he served the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

He said: “My favourites have been influenced by Princess Diana’s favourites and the Queen’s favourites.

“Diana loved roses and she particularly liked yellow roses, and in her room she liked scented flowers.

“The Queen’s favourite flower is lily of the valley so I made sure she had a small pot of it on her desk when it was in season and primroses at Easter time.

“The style and the shape of the flowers and the colours are very important. I like to use lots of foliage. My favourite flowers are scented. I love English roses.”

When Paul isn’t tending to his flower shop he is often jetting all over the world.

He said: “I’m always being offered proposals to appear on TV shows worldwide.

“I regularly go on visits to China. The Chinese fascinated by western culture so I do seminars on etiquette and manners – everything from table setting to how to serve food properly. I’ve also done work for British Airways and other corporates.

“But I love having the flower shop because it keeps me grounded because it reminds me that we are all here treading the same path. Some have more money, have titles, but it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.

“One of the princesses’ favourite sayings was all our souls weight the same.”

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