Key Points:

Prime Minister Helen Clark says she doesn't remember texting during a speech by the Queen.

She has been accused of insulting the Queen by text messaging while the monarch was making a speech.

The Daily Express newspaper in England reported that Helen Clark was seen texting during the Queen's opening address to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda last Friday.

The mention of Miss Clark was in a report about Commonwealth prime ministers snubbing Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles by arriving late or not turning up at all to a banquet in their honour.

A spokeswoman for Miss Clark said the prime minister had spoken to Prince Charles and his wife during the function.

The Prime Minister, who is now in Egypt, said through a spokesperson that the incident did not happen.

In 2002, she was criticised for wearing trousers instead of a gown and not saying grace at a state banquet for the Queen in New Zealand.

She is also fond of text messaging - last month she described herself as "the mistress of the text message".

The Daily Express saw Helen Clark's texting and the low turn-out of Commonwealth leaders at a banquet for Prince Charles as part of a "rising tide of republicanism".

It said that having elected a Labor government, Australia was likely to hold a referendum on becoming a republic.

"In New Zealand too, there is diminishing respect for the Crown. The country's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, was spotted texting on her mobile phone during the Queen's opening address ... "

The Prime Minister did not attend Prince Charles' banquet on Sunday night. She left Kampala earlier that day to visit NZ Aid projects in other parts of Uganda.

The Republican Movement of Aotearoa NZ says the incident shows Helen Clark is "clearly half-hearted" about the monarchy.

Chairman Lewis Holden said she should show leadership on the republicanism issue, "as her fellow social democrat leaders around the Commonwealth are".

- with NEWSTALK ZB, NZPA