Paul and Maria Burrell have confirmed that they are to divorce after 32 years of marriage.
Paul, who is best known as Princess Diana’s former butler, and for his subsequent appearance on reality TV show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, released a joint statement with his wife through a publicist, saying, ‘Our clients Paul and Maria Burrell would like to end any speculation over the past few days by confirming that they are currently going through a divorce.’
‘The decision to file for divorce was a mutual one, both Paul and Maria remain the best of friends and have two wonderful sons together who remain their priority.’
‘Paul and Maria will not be giving any further comments and would kindly request that their privacy is respected during this time.’
Paul, 57, and Maria, 62, have reportedly been living apart for years, but this is the first time they have publicly announced their split.
Paul and Maria pictured during his time on I’m a Celebrity…
The divorce was rumoured in recent weeks, after a source told the Sunday Express that Paul had more TV appearances, including a role on Strictly Come Dancing, lined up.
‘One of the reasons he wishes to star in reality shows could be because he needs money for an impending divorce. He is splitting from his long-suffering wife and may need to pay her off,’ they claimed.
However, Paul has since denied the story, replying, ‘I’ve not been asked to compete on Strictly.’
Paul and Maria met at Buckingham Palace when Maria was working for the Duke of Edinburgh, and married in 1983. At the time, tradition dictated that one of them should give up their job with the Royal Family after the wedding, but Queen Elizabeth II made an exception for them, allowing both to remain in Royal service.
The pair have two grown up sons, Alexander and Nicholas, together.