The unspeakable has been spoken. One year after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, Britain is beginning to question whether the people's princess really was the queen of their hearts. Pilgrims still visit her various shrines around the country but, 12 months after the shock of her death, some are beginning to question the depth and spread of feeling. They ask whether Britain did become a nation united by grief when thousands flooded into the capital to pay tribute at her funeral. Many still feel like Maureen Mcfadden, who has visited Kensington Palace every week since she first woke to the news of the car accident in a Paris underpass on Sunday, August 31, last year. 'Life has to move on but for me personally the death will always be there. I was devastated when I heard the news and that feeling is still with me now,' she said while standing at the gates of the princess' former London residence. 'I think some people have forgotten what she meant to them, but I will never forget how much compassion and feeling she showed for people,' the 45-year-old interior designer said. It took a pretty thick skin not to be moved by the immediate circumstances of the princess' death that reverberated around the world. But there was a range of responses - with some people genuinely excited at being able to participate in what they saw as a historical occasion and others whose emotions led them to believe the princess had achieved mythical status. Since her death, worship has been invited at a church in her name on the Internet. And the American feminist writer Camille Paglia has warned us to expect claims of miracle healing at the shrine to Diana near her burial place in Althorp. A card pinned to a bunch of flowers squeezed under the gates at Kensington Palace this week was signed by Stephanie Ritcher of Germany, who described the princess as 'a close spiritual friend of mine'. Author A.N. Wilson wrote this week he believed the semi-religious response shown by the nation, through the extent of its grieving, was evaporating. 'There is no doubt in my mind that, in the country at large, the balance has switched. The Latin American carnival of grief has dwindled and become, as religions tend to become, the preserve of children, homosexuals and lonely housewives. The majority will allow her to sink into oblivion.' But some established religious groups have reacted to the Diana phenomena by casting her in a more satanic mould. A mother in Walsall in the West Midland recently withdrew her son from a local Sunday school after he became miserable at bedtime. Taught by his mother that the princess was a 'star in heaven', he had kept a picture of her beside his bed. But the teachers at the Bethany Christian Fellowship upset the seven-year-old boy when they told him she had gone to hell. 'Princess Diana's lifestyle was, on the evidence, immoral, anti-biblical and not one that a believer in Christ would live,' the teachers explained when questioned by the press. Lord Coggan, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, most publicly joined this debate last week when he accused the public of using the princess as a 'false goddess'. 'Our nation has become godless,' he said. 'Man is made with a hollow which only God can fill. Then along came this false goddess and filled the gap for a time. But like all false gods she could not last. 'The British people identified with someone who had pretty loose morals and certainly loose sexual morals. A period of disillusionment is bound to set in,' he warned. Relatively few people are challenging the credibility of the Princess but plenty of others are beginning to challenge the integrity of those who went to mourn. Questioned shortly after her funeral, 90 per cent of those asked claimed to have watched the event on television. But when more reliable viewing figures were produced it was shown that more than 25 per cent of adults had ignored the broadcast and this year's World Cup coverage drew bigger audiences. The British Film Institute asked nearly 500 viewers to record their personal responses to the television coverage of the mourning. Although 61 per cent watched the funeral, 50 per cent declared themselves not profoundly affected by the death and nearly 40 per cent complained the coverage was excessive or overly sentimental. Television producer Adam Alexander was commissioned to take a snap shot of the country over the weekend in which the funeral was held and says he discovered many people were indulging in being able to participate in a public event. 'What we found was that there was a multitude of different emotions to Diana's death and it was not true, as the politicians would have us believe, that the nation was united in grief. Sure everybody was sad but it did not touch everybody in the same way the media seemed to suggest it did.' Mr Alexander insists his 12 camera crews, dispatched to different locations across the country, were told to be as objective as possible and not look for what was unusual or different, but simply observe the way people were responding to an extraordinary event. 'What we found would probably not have been possible to have broadcast immediately after the funeral because then everyone was obsessed with the idea that everybody felt the same way. But what we found was a lot of people were alienated by the event and just decided to keep quiet.' The hard facts seem to contradict Mr Alexander's findings as official figures suggest more than a million people gathered in London on September 6 for the funeral, and thousands more lined the route which carried her coffin to Althorp where the Princess is buried. An estimated HK$380 million worth of flowers were laid across Britain by those paying tribute. Perhaps more significant is the 290,000 people who queued for up to eight hours at a time to sign 43 books of condolence at Kensington and St James Palaces. But Mr Alexander claims many of those who went along simply wanted to be part of what they saw as a historic occasion. 'There was one man we filmed in the funeral crowd who was carrying a video camera and he said 'I'd pay double to do this again. I've got history on tape'. That was a fairly common reaction.' Lord Blake, a constitutional historian and high steward of Westminster Abbey, defends Mr Alexander's view. 'The crowds I saw on my way to the abbey appeared more curious than grief-stricken. Some people might be offended but I do think the impact of Diana's death on the nation has been exaggerated,' he said. Others claim many of those in crowds who lined the route of the funeral procession were foreign tourists anxious to soak up what they saw as a piece of British culture. To many it seems pointless to try to analyse the emotions of an entire nation when it is often awkward enough for an individual to express how they feel when faced with an unusual and tragic situation. A series of polls published in the British press over the past week showed just how difficult it is to judge the public's reaction to her death. One poll commissioned by The Mirror tabloid newspaper showed more than half the nation was still in mourning, with over 75 per cent of women saying they still felt a sense of grief. In contrast, a survey published on the same day in The Independent found more than half the population did not believe the anniversary of her death should be marked, while 80 per cent of those questioned said the princess' death had made no lasting impression on them. But whatever their reaction, many people believe the princess' death has had a lasting impact on the nation. A poll in the Sunday Times found 41 per cent of people believed Britain was a 'more caring and compassionate' society as a result of reflection on her life. James Whitaker, veteran royal writer for The Mirror, agreed the nation had been changed by the princess' death but felt her legacy was unlikely to last. 'We have changed as a nation, but how long that will last is harder to guess. My belief is that the change in attitudes will last only as long as the public's immediate memory of mourning lasts, and then it will gradually fade.' Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bradford, Anthony O'Hear believes the nation's response to her death was the most important event since the end of World War II, and that it will have a more lasting affect. 'Whatever it was people felt, they really felt it, no matter that most of them had never seen Diana and knew of her and her life only from the tabloids,' he wrote in a collection of essays published earlier this year. 'Post-Diana, Britain will indeed be another country. That week we witnessed a defining moment in our history,' he wrote. Most people will remember the events surrounding the princess' funeral, whatever their feelings at the time, but are beginning to lose interest in the ballyhoo that surrounds the Diana phenomena. 'Of course we will always remember her and we can't forget what it was like when we heard the news. 'But I think the whole thing has got over-commercialised,' said Barbara Glass, while pausing to watch the small group of mourners at the gates of Kensington Palace earlier this week. 'It's got out of hand with souvenirs and all sorts of things. 'We are here on holiday in London and we just stopped by while we were walking in the park. 'But I don't think we would ever come here again. 'It's time people left her alone and let her rest in peace.'