Burrell and the Mirror: could this be the end of a beautiful friendship?

The apparent anger of Paul Burrell yesterday at the Daily Mirror's decision to reveal Prince Charles as the hidden name in the Princess Diana murder plot letter suggested that the butler's close relationship with the newspaper's editor, Piers Morgan, might be at an end.

Mr Burrell has had a special rapport with Morgan since he signed a £300,000 contract with the paper after the collapse of his criminal trial in 2002. His book,A Royal Duty, was serialised in the Mirror last year. It contained details of the letter but the Prince's identity was concealed. Shortly after the newspaper made the name public yesterday, the former butler's agent, Ali Gunn, issued a statement.

"As the editor of the Daily Mirror will confirm, Mr Burrell never wanted any new information to be published following the serialisation of his book.

"Today's publication was solely a decision taken by the newspaper without Mr Burrell's knowledge or consent. He was only informed late on Monday and he does not support or endorse its publication."

Mr Morgan said: "We had a disagreement about this. I think Paul is quite emotional about this whole subject matter. It's a very sensitive issue and having painstakingly gone to great lengths to avoid the name coming out he was pretty upset that it was going to happen."

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