Princess denies rift with son over hunting


PRINCESS Diana denied media reports yesterday that she was "sickened" by Prince William's enthusiasm for hunting, describing the front page stories as "cruel in [their] inaccuracies".

Clearly determined to end media speculation that her son's hobby has caused problems in their relationship, Princess Diana issued a statement denouncing the reports.

"Both the Princess and Prince William have a very close relationship and she respects that he has interests in every arena and would not question them," the statement said.

After it emerged that Prince William had shot his first stag during a stalking weekend at Balmoral last month, several British newspapers purported to describe Princess Diana's concerns about the sport's psychological effects on her son, particularly as he was immediately "blooded".

Princess Diana not only objects to the killing of animals but also to the use of guns. Although it is understood that Princess Diana raised her fears with her former husband, Prince Charles, sources stated that she has been informed it is none of her business. Prince Harry (12), who shot a pheasant at Sandringham on Saturday, also appears to enjoy the hobby.

It has also emerged that Queen Elizabeth has approved the release of secret government papers detailing the allegedly pro Nazi stance of the Duke of Windsor during the second World War.

The Foreign Office papers, dating mainly from the 1940s, are believed to contain reports from British ambassadors and other government officials describing their concern at their duke's apparent fascist sympathies.

However, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said the papers, which are expected to be released within days, contain "no surprises", and historians believe the documents will show that the duke had a lack of judgment and was a fool rather than a traitor.

While in exile following his marriage to Mrs Wallis Simpson, the duke met Hitler in 1937 without notifying the British government.

It has been suggested that a Spanish emissary, acting for Germany, told the duke that Hitler would return him to the throne. Last year, a Channel 4 Secret Lives documentary claimed the duke was so bitter about his treatment that he was prepared to support the Nazis to stir a revolution in Britain and depose his brother, King George VI.

. The Prince of Wales and the Archbishop of Canterbury have been pressing the British government to give the millennium celebrations a greater spiritual dimension, according to papers leaked to the Independent on Sunday. They give details of a private dinner attended by the prince, Archbishop Carey, and other religious leaders to discuss the millennium.

Prince Charles spoke of his wish that "the millennium might be used to encourage more practical schemes of health care which embraced a spiritual approach to healing".