A scandal that could easily have erupted into bitter infighting among the Royal Family on Christmas Day has been narrowly avoided.
I can report that the potential scandal has once again involved the family photos selected by Her Majesty the Queen to sit on her desk while she pre-recorded her annual Christmas message.
Last year Her Majesty’s message sparked outrage in some quarters when broadcast because of a perceived deliberate snub by the Monarch of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
Many royal watchers were convinced that Her Majesty had pointedly excluded the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the collection of family photos at her elbow and visible during her 2019 message.
In this year’s message pre-recorded last week Her Majesty has chosen the same photos – one of her father King George VI; her oldest child and heir to the throne the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, and his family; and the Duke of Edinburgh.
But my Buckingham Palace sources tell me that this year Her Majesty was at pains to include a photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on her desk near her left hand. (main picture)
Admittedly the photo was flat on the desk, barely visible to the camera, and was partly covered by a perfectly coiled human stool. (pictured)
When viewing an advance copy of the Queen’s message leaked to me from within Buckingham Palace, I immediately noticed the distinct colour of the faeces that almost covered the picture of the Sussexes.
The blueish, almost purple colour of the obviously fresh stool sparked my concerns that its owner may be suffering from porphyria, a term covering a variety of liver diseases in which substances called porphyrins accumulate in the body causing deterioration of the skin or nervous system.
The name porphyria comes from an ancient Greek word meaning purple, and purplish urine or faeces is a possible indicator of the condition.
The 18th century British monarch King George III was believed to have suffered from a form of porphyria and it is hereditary so my anxiety that someone in the current Royal Family may have the condition was understandable.
A check with members of the BBC TV film crew who shot the 2020 message revealed that there had been no unusual or foul odour in the room at the time, so I was able to very quickly narrow down the origin of the stool to Her Majesty herself.
But luckily, once that was done, a senior member of the royal medical staff at Buckingham Palace was able to put my mind at ease.
My royal medical source told me there was nothing to worry about when it came to the royal stool’s colouring.
Apparently Her Majesty’s haemorrhoids were to blame by leaking a small amount of her blue blood which mixed with her bowel movements and caused the tell-tale, but in this case false, tinting otherwise associated with porphyria.
So thankfully a potential but totally unnecessary royal scandal has been avoided and, without sounding immodest, I am pleased to have played some role in the outcome.