September 9, 1997 in Nation/World

Report: Queen Asked Private Rites For Diana Buckingham Palace Officials Call Story ‘Mischief Making’

Associated Press
 

In making arrangements for Princess Diana’s funeral, the queen demanded that her body not be placed in any royal palace and insisted on a private service, sparking a fierce dispute with Prince Charles, according to a television news report Monday night.

The queen and her son disagreed so vehemently that officials from Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office had to be brought in to mediate, Channel 4 News said.

In a statement late Monday night, Buckingham Palace officials dismissed the Channel 4 report as “just mischief making.”

The television station did not cite a source for its report, but a similar story about a row between Charles and his mother appeared last week in the London tabloid The Sun, quoting an unidentified family friend.

The queen, Charles and other members of the royal family were at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Aug. 31, when Diana, her friend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver were killed in a car crash in Paris. Channel 4 reported that at that day’s morning service at nearby Crathie, attended by the royals, no mention of Diana was made because the queen stuck to her order that Diana’s name should never be mentioned in front of her. Diana and Charles were divorced last year.

According to the report, the queen initially had demanded that her former daughter-in-law’s body not be placed in any of the royal palaces and that it be taken to a private mortuary on arrival back in Britain. It said the queen also wanted a private funeral.

Charles had to telephone Blair to discuss placing Diana’s body in the chapel of St. James’ Palace in London, Channel 4 reported.

Diana’s family was so angry at the queen’s plans for a private funeral that they initially refused to communicate with Buckingham Palace officials, the station said.

But Diana’s brother, the 9th Earl Spencer, in a statement late Monday night denied he had clashed with the palace over the funeral plans. He said: “We were united in the aim of giving Diana a suitable funeral and all arrangements up to and including the service were agreed amicably between the lord chamberlain’s office and myself.” The lord chamberlain is a Buckingham Palace official.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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