Never-before-seen photos from Princess Diana and Prince Charles‘ legendary wedding were recently released and have brought back tons of memories for everyone involved.

Now Paul Burrell, Diana’s butler at the time, gives Closer Weekly an exclusive behind-the-scenes look, sharing new details from the big day.

“I still remember it clearly,” he tells Closer exclusively. “It was a fairy tale from the outside, but the reality became somewhat different.”

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day in July 1981.

Paul counted himself lucky to be assigned to serve Charles then 32, and his 20-year-old bride at the reception.

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“I saw a girl beginning her journey, full of hope and love for the man she had just married,” Burrell tells Closer. “I could see her trembling with excitement. As I served each course, I noticed that the bride never touched a morsel of food and only took a sip of champagne when the toast was made.”

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day in July 1981.

Still, Diana would later look back on her wedding with fondness. “Years later we reminisced about that day and she told me how happy she was and that her stomach was tied up in knots!”

From her wedding day until her tragic death in a car accident 18 years ago at the age of 36, Diana — the People’s Princess — was one of the most watched and beloved women in the world.

“Diana was a force to be reckoned with,” Burrell tells Closer. “The royal family were not ready for it, but she changed the face of the family forever.”

For the full interview with Paul and to see all the never-before-seen photos, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!