It was the mystery that had everything: love, intrigue, murder, insanity and feuding, all at the highest levels of society. But the drama that has fascinated all of Europe came to a swift conclusion yesterday, as police in Elsinore swooped to arrest Denmark’s Prince Hamlet two counts of murder.
Initially, police had regarded the drowning of Ophelia, daughter of royal minister Polonius, who was been widely dubbed the ‘Blonde in the Pond’, as suicide prompted by her father’s death. Hamlet became a suspect once it emerged that Polonius had been stabbed to death at the palace and had been in love with Ophelia himself.
‘I can confirm that we are treating her death as suspicious, Superintendent Stefan Jorgensen told the press. He added, for the benefit of the British tabloids: ‘Yes, she was young, blonde and beautiful. Yes, her first name was Ophelia. No, her surname was not ‘Tits’. Do grow up.’
According to rumours on Twitter, Hamlet had been driven mad by the death of his father two months ago, following which his uncle Claudius had usurped the throne and married his mother Gertrude. Hamlet’s increasingly eccentric behaviour had driven the royal couple and Polonius to spy on him and attempt to send him to England, before tragedy struck. Or something like that.
The Prince’s lawyers have dismissed talk of him pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. ‘Our client is but mad north-north-west. When the wind is from a southerly direction, he knows a hawk from a handsaw,’ said defence counsel Henrik Rasmussen. ‘No, me neither. That’s what he told me to say. No more questions please.’
A royal source, speaking anonymously, expressed relief that the prince had been arrested. ‘If this had gone on any longer, he might have sailed off to England, had the two school friends we sent to spy on him murdered, got kidnapped and released, come home and fought a duel with Polonius’s son in which he stabbed his uncle, his mother drank poison by mistake and they both ended up dead after being scratched by a poison-tipped sword. Well, it could happen, couldn’t it?’
Hamlet himself has vigorously denied any role in Ophelia’s death. ‘I didn’t even fancy her – I told her to get her to a nunnery once,’ he told reporters shortly before his arrest. ‘Well all right, I did fancy her a bit, but not as much as my mum. Oh shit, you won’t print that will you?’