Diana Book Trashes Queen

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Is Britain's Queen a cold and heartless monarch more concerned about the fate of her jewels than the life of the nation's beloved princess? Not according to Buckingham Palace, which has furiously denied new claims that the Queen began asking about the jewels Diana had been wearing within an hour of learning that the princess had died. Christopher Andersen's new book "The Day Diana Died" alleges that a British diplomat was immediately sent to the Paris hospital where Diana's body had been taken, with instructions from Her Majesty to retrieve the jewelry.

The book, based on interviews with Palace sources and hospital workers, also alleges that it took a challenge from Prince William to get Buckingham Palace's flag lowered to half-mast, and that the Queen's address to the nation came only after Prince Charles warned her that by remaining silent she risked being booed at Diana's funeral. Whatever the merits of Andersen's allegations, their resonance with the widely-reported tension between Prince Charles and his mother over Diana's funeral arrangements certainly makes the book an uncomfortable reminder of a near-debacle in Royal public relations following Diana's death.