A routine catalogue of official paperwork at Buckingham Palace has left the British monarchy in disarray today; after archivists discovered that the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936 was not correctly ratified, placing the 116 year old former monarch squarely back on the throne.
General Sir Horace Porter-Mainwaring, Privy Master of the Royal Scrolls, made the startling find while poring through a box of pre-war papers relating to the constitutional crisis of Edward's determination to marry a divorcee commoner: 'I came across Edward's official application of abdication - the form which all monarchs must fill in if they wish to give up the throne. The application had been duly approved by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and ratified by the prime ministers of Britain's dominions, the Viceroy of India and other imperial officials.'
However Sir Horace also found that one of the witnesses, the governor of British Barotseland, had failed to keep his signature within the box as specified. 'This effectively made the document totally invalid, but I suspect that the signatories were so united in their dislike for Wallis Simpson that they chose to overlook the error. However, without calling into question my professional integrity and loyalty to the Queen, I cannot.'
Government advisors are understood to be gently breaking the news to the Duke of Windsor, as Edward is currently known, at his retirement home in East Grinstead. 'It'll be a painstaking job as he's extremely old and not as sharp as he used to be,' revealed a his carer. 'But give it a day or two and once the news sinks in he'll definitely be up for it - though the court will have to be moved to somewhere nice like Bexhill-on-Sea or Sidmouth and the Prime Minister will have to get used to being called Mosley.'
Plans are currently being drawn up for the incumbent royal family to vacate Buckingham Palace, while interim accommodation is being prepared at Balmoral. However the new King is expected to eventually use this Scottish retreat during visits to his Edinburgh proctologist. 'God knows where 'Queen' Elizabeth will stay after that. There's no love lost between her and Edward,' claimed BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell, 'during the war they packed him off to the Bahamas, so she'll be lucky to get a static caravan in Norfolk if he has anything to so with it.'
Many constitutional experts believe that, considering Edward's extremely frail condition, he will hand over most of his day-to-day royal duties to his step-great-grandson from his second marriage, Terry Windsor-Williams, who will act as Prince Regent. Upon leaving his current job at the motor works, Prince Terrence of Dagenham, as he will be known, told journalists that he was 'well made up.' 'It's about bleedin' time our side of the family got a piece of the action,' he declared, before setting off in his official motorcade to pick up his daughter, heir presumptive Princess Shania-Alisha, from Barking Community College.