Prince Edward. Picture courtesy of Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace last night made the surprise announcement that the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, died unnoticed in 2014 following a short illness.

A royal spokesman explained, “His Royal Highness Prince Edward passed away about five years ago but we can’t be sure about the date.

“We think it was probably during the summer but I’m afraid the exact details are a bit sketchy, to be honest.

“One of the maids found him on the floor in his bedchamber but she thought he’d been drinking so he was left there for a few days’

“Eventually, he was taken to an undertaker in Putney to be cleaned up and so on”

“The Queen and Prince Philip were informed at the time, but they were on a tour of some Commonwealth countries and had probably forgotten about it by the time they got back.

“As far as anyone can remember his remains were buried in a cemetery in Fulham, not far from the football ground, but it was five years or so ago so we can’t be certain on that one”

Prince Edward’s wife, Sophie, told a Whelk reporter last night: “This is all news to me. I’d noticed he’d not been around lately but I assumed he was off on tour with one of those bloody theatre companies he hangs around with. Did he leave anything in his will do you know?”

The deceased royal was famously unobtrusive and stayed out of the limelight. This was never better illustrated than when he went absent without leave from his army regiment two days after joining them in Aldershot and nobody realised he’d gone for seven years.