The Supreme Emperor of the Planet Mongo has said he will not attend Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding on Friday because of local unrest on his planet. Emperor Kevin "Minging" T. Merciless said it was with "deep regret" that he had reached his decision, but ongoing protests from Arborial and Hawk Men groups required the vaporising of a large percentage of the planet's population.
He said he had hoped the situation in Mongo would have improved so he could attend and not overshadow the "pathetic Earthlings, who will themselves one day soon be crushed under the pitiless boot of Ming". Human rights campaigners had petitioned against his attendance because of his government's treatment of protesters, including being hurled into lava pits, being fed to carnivorous plants, and kettling.
Emperor Ming wrote to the Prince of Wales to explain his decision, expressing his "wholehearted apologies". He said: "While media reports have certainly highlighted a number of significant issues currently facing the Kingdom of Ming, they have fundamentally misrepresented my own views, outlook and position on recent events. Once again, I must reiterate that the use of kettling is completely unacceptable in a modern dictatorship."
The BBC's royal correspondent Peter Hunt pointed out that just a few days ago the Emperor was definitely coming, and added "who knows what sort of diplomatic pressure might have been applied behind the scenes? Only Doctor Hans Zarkov, formerly of NASA, has provided any explanation, and frankly it's not exactly convincing, coming from someone who looks like they should be in Fiddler on the Roof".
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was amongst those who criticised the inclusion of the Emperor on the wedding list which was made public on Saturday. He said: "The invitations are a massive misjudgement by the monarch. They show the Queen is out of touch with the humanitarian values of modern, liberal Britain. She's putting royalty before human rights."
"I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth," he added cryptically.