A stunned world reeled last night as Michael Middleton, father of the Duchess of Cambridge, confirmed recent rumours of a royal rift.
Speaking to reporters outside his Berkshire home, Mr Middleton said: "My lass is in a dreadful state. She's upstairs now with her mum and her sister having a good cry and getting some TLC for once. All this gadding about the place in helicopters and the like has been an awful strain on the girl."
He went on: "Some days she's not sure what frock to put on in case it's something she's been seen in before. And as for the in-laws well I don't know what. They're all nice as ninepence one minute and cold as ice the next. The lass says she can't do right for doing wrong most of the time."
Pressed for news of Prince William's reaction, Mr Middleton was forthright; "He's not good enough for my Kate. He's been on the blower several times but I've told him to take a running jump and he can take that daft brother of his and all. Touching up our Pippa and making mucky remarks.
"They're thick as thieves the pair of them. Wills thinks more of Harry than he does of his own wedded wife and that's a fact. Well it won't do."