Barbudans Angry at Invasion by Diana
CODRINGTON, Barbuda (AP) _ Princess Diana may see herself as a British goodwill ambassador, but Barbudans beg to differ.
Angry residents of this Caribbean island nation called a town hall meeting today to complain that a public beach has been closed by police and Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force officers protecting Diana’s privacy.
Islanders also said they felt slighted because Diana turned down an invitation to present awards at a ceremony today for people who helped the island recover from Hurricane Luis, which ripped through in September.
``Our beaches are open, we’re free to do what we want on them, so we’re not at all happy about this,″ said resident Natalie Nedd.
Diana, 34, the estranged wife of Prince Charles, is taking a Caribbean vacation while her two sons, Prince William, 13, and Prince Harry, 11, spend the Christmas holidays with their father, heir to the British throne.
She is staying at a guest house in Codrington, where most of the island’s 1,500 residents live. The village is about 10 miles from the K-Club, a posh private resort whose beach was screened off for Diana’s visit. However, all beaches in Barbuda are public.
``Legally, we can access the beach and sit next to her. Legally, it’s not the K-Club’s or Diana’s, and we totally object to anybody trying to shut off what is public property,″ said Francilla Francis, former chairwoman of the Barbuda Council, the island’s local ruling body,
Back in cold, clammy London, The Daily Mail reported that Prime Minister John Major told Queen Elizabeth II that a marriage between Charles and his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles would be unacceptable.
Major is believed to have warned the monarch at a pre-Christmas audience at Buckingham Palace that neither the public nor Parliament would accept such a marriage, the London tabloid said.
The queen wrote to Charles and Diana earlier this month, urging them to divorce soon. Charles agreed. Diana has not yet replied.
People close to Charles and Mrs. Parker Bowles dismissed a report Thursday in a rival London tabloid which quoted unidentified government sources as saying the prince’s mistress, a 48-year-old divorcee, has indicated she’s determined to marry him.
But the Daily Mail added: ``Nevertheless, the premier felt the situation warranted being taken to the queen. And there are those who argue that the pattern of events over the past year _ even if there is currently no intention to marry _ could in the end see the two wishing to wed.″
Charles, 47, said Dec. 21 he had no intention of remarrying after a divorce from Diana. They separated in 1992 after 11 years of marriage.
Charles’ statement was initially interpreted to mean he would never take a second wife. But royal sources later said he had not ruled out marrying again sometime in the future.
In June 1994, Charles acknowledged being unfaithful while he and Diana were still together, but only after their marriage broke down. Interviewer Jonathan Dimbleby identified the other woman as Mrs. Parker Bowles.
Diana has blamed Mrs. Parker Bowles for the marriage breakdown, but also admitted she had an extramarital affair of her own with her ex-riding instructor James Hewitt.
The monarch is temporal head of the Church of England, which frowns on divorced people remarrying. Some bishops were appalled at the idea of a divorced heir to the throne marrying a divorcee.
In the 1936 abdication crisis, the British establishment stood firm against King Edward VIII when he insisted on marrying twice-divorced American Mrs. Simpson.
While Edward remained king, marriage to her would be incompatible with his coronation oath to uphold the church, it said. Edward abdicated rather than give up ``the woman I love.″