A close friend of Princess Diana reacted angrily when ABC News informed her that the reputed secret burial of her stillborn child in a private garden at Kensington Palace in 1994 had been included in a new book by Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell.
Rosa Monckton said she had been out of town this week and had not heard that Burrell had written about the reported burial incident until ABC News' London bureau told her. Her first reaction was, "I'm utterly appalled." Monckton went on to call Burrell "unbelievable" and added, "I'm so angry."
She would not comment on the reported secret palace ceremony itself and fell silent for several seconds. Then Monckton said that if she said anything else, "I will just burst into tears," adding that "I do not want to speak about this further."
It is the most sensational backlash yet over the latest claims about the private life of Princess Diana and those close to her.
As his new book, "The Way We Were," goes on sale, former Kensington Palace butler Burrell faces a storm of criticism.
In the book, Burrell wrote about how he'd helped Diana bury Monckton's child on the private grounds of the palace.
In promoting his book, however, Burrell has run into some embarrassing hostility.
During a live British television appearance on ITV1's "This Morning," presenter Phillip Schofield accused Burrell of cashing in on Diana's memory.
"It would appear," Schofield said, "that you were her rock, but now she's your pension."
Burrell had already told ABC News' Kate Snow on "Good Morning America" that he had written his second book about the princess because he wanted to tell the truth about the person she was.
He said, "I'm still in that corner waving my flag. Who else is? The royal family [isn't], her ex-husband isn't ... and sadly, her children aren't."
That apparent taunt at Princes William and Harry has angered many in the British media who still regard Diana's sons as deserving of privacy concerning their mother.
In the ITV1 interview, Burrell defended his comments about the princes failing to "wave the flag" in their mother's memory.
"I expect them to, yes," he said. "I didn't attack them. I didn't say anything bad about William and Harry. I wouldn't do that. I have two boys of my own."
One viewer of ITV1's program found Burrell less than sincere, phoning in to call the ex-butler's actions "totally disgusting."
"Mr. Burrell should let Diana's memory rest in peace. I think he should go out and get himself a job like the rest of us. He should think of her two boys, who she loved, instead of his bank balance," she said.
As for the mention in his book that he helped bury Monckton's baby, whom she had conceived with husband Dominic Lawson, Burrell was not actually revealing anything new. The story of the 1994 burial first appeared in the British news in 2002.
It appears, from what is known, that there was nothing improper or illegal about the burial.
It has been widely reported that a Catholic priest, the Rev. Alexander Sherbrooke, was present at the burial.
ABC News has learned that Sherbrooke is currently on retreat in Austria and unavailable for comment.
The Rev. Allen Morris, secretary to the Department of Christian Life and Worship at the Catholic Bishops Conference in London, said, "It is perfectly legal to take place in private grounds."
He added that if Sherbrooke presided over the funeral, that it would have been with the Catholic church's permission.