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Queen agrees not to deliver planned speech in Indian city

Queen Elizabeth II yielded Wednesday to a request by her hosts not to deliver a planned speech in southern India.

The queen's schedule of wreath-laying ceremonies and tours of aid projects has nearly been overshadowed by diplomatic missteps during her state visit to India."We are taking no offense," British government spokeswoman Judith Slater said of the request to cancel the speech in Madras, where the queen was to attend a dinner hosted by the state governor Thursday.

During state visits, heads of state are expected to make speeches only in the federal capital, Slater said.

It is the queen's third, and most controversial, visit to India, part of a two-week regional tour to mark the 50th anniversary of the subcontinent's independence from Britain.

Months before she arrived on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral suggested that she drop plans to visit Amritsar, the site of a massacre by the British military during its 200 years of colonial rule.