Sometimes the British tabloids are accurate; sometimes not. In any case, it often seems they spend all their time and most of their money chasing in a pack after the royals. Now they have their teeth locked firmly on the rumor that Charles and Diana's fairy-tale marriage is on the rocks. The papers lavishly reported yesterday that the prince and princess of Wales spent only a brief six hours together, at a public appearance in flood-ravaged Wales -- the first time they have been seen together in 36 days -- before Charles immediately returned to his Scottish retreat.

Buckingham Palace confirms that Charles has been staying at his grandmother's home near Balmoral Castle in Scotland, but will not comment on rumors of marital problems or confirm that he will be back in London next week. The tabloids have all but pronounced the marriage over, but Diana, appearing at a charity auction in London later in the day, called the reports "nonsense." And she added, "We live a happy life in complete harmony."

Out and About

And there's that other marriage that evidently isn't doing so well. Peggy Iacocca, wife of Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee Iacocca, has been ordered in their divorce proceedings to produce records of her personal finances. The Iacoccas wed in April of last year, but the marriage seemed over when he filed for divorce last December. Since March, they have reportedly been working on a reconciliation, but that obviously isn't going too well ...

Ed Walker, a legendary voice in Washington broadcasting, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the first Achievement in Radio Awards dinner in a ceremony yesterday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Walker, who began his radio career at American University, has been in the business for 35 years. For several years he and "Today" show weatherman Willard Scott were the "Joy Boys" at WWRC and later at WWDC. He did morning talk on Channel 7, hosted his "Play It Again Ed" show for several years over WMAL radio and now cohosts a morning talk show, again on WWRC ...

Singer Tony Bennett seems to have left a bit of his heart at Wolf Trap. Don't look for a song with that title, but there will be some drawings. While at Wolf Trap this week to kick off his eight-month concert tour, Bennett spent considerable time and several rolls of film photographing the Filene Center and the surrounding countryside. Bennett, who paints under his given name, Anthony Benedetto, plans to make several drawings from the photos, which will be used in the PBS broadcast of his performance and will then be donated to Wolf Trap. Benedetto, incidentally, has a one-man show of oils, watercolors and lithographs running at the Georgetown Fine Arts Gallery ...

Several show business celebrities showed up at the United Nations Wednesday evening for a memorial service for The Man Who Loved Children, Danny Kaye, who held the title of ambassador at large for UNICEF. Itzhak Perlman performed at the service for the comedian, who died last March. Among more than 300 others in attendance were Gregory Peck, Arlene Dahl, Van Johnson, Jose Ferrer, Anne Jackson, Lauren Bacall, Beverly Sills, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Liv Ullman, who now shares Kaye's UNICEF title with fellow actor Peter Ustinov. Newsman David Brinkley called Kaye "the funniest man ever," and Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti described him as "a non-Xeroxable man" ...

It's a relief to learn that the teen-age parents of Jessica McClure have said they have no plans to turn their child's 58-hour ordeal in that abandoned well into a book or a movie or even a magazine deal. They have also refused the usual National Enquirer offer of "hundreds of thousands of dollars." Reba McClure, Jessica's mother, said, "It's Jessica's story, and if she wants to tell it when she gets older, she will. It's not our story, it's hers. We're not interested in exploiting her." Bravo ...