November 14, 2003 12:27 PM

Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell may be in America promoting his new book “A Royal Duty,” but he, like many others, can’t ignore the hurricane of headlines involving Prince Charles currently taking Britain by storm.

“Strong, he has great depth of character,” Burrell tells PEOPLE about Charles, who turns 55 on Friday. “He’ll survive it, because that’s what the Prince of Wales does. He survives anything that comes his way. He is a very strong character.”

At the heart of these headlines is a purported scandal that cannot be spelled out, given the stringent libel laws in England. But because the rumblings reputedly involve some members of Charles’s staff, Burrell, who has been in service most of his professional life, says, “I certainly couldn’t advise the Prince of Wales, but I think he should look very seriously at his household. Times are changing. He is surrounded by people who tell him ‘yes,’ and the ‘no’ people get shot.”

Referring to the royal family, Burrell says, “What they don’t understand is that the media controls the game. (The palace) should be employing people like the White House does to cope with media strategy. The institution is so archaic. Whoever is advising the Prince of Wales? I personally think he is getting the wrong advice.”

And while Burrell’s book about Princess Diana and her marriage to Charles is said to have upset the couple’s sons, Princes William and Harry, it was also reported that the ex-butler and the boys hope to meet face to face and talk out their differences.

“I have been on this tour of America,” Burrell, 45, says of the proposed meeting. “But the wheels are in motion. … I think it will happen.”

And if Burrell cannot repair the damage that has been done to his once-good relationship with William and Harry, will the book (which reportedly has made the former butler a millionaire) have still been worth it?

“Yes,” Burrell tells PEOPLE, “because I know in my heart it’s the right thing. I know I had to do it. I’ll stand by it and be judged by it.”

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