Buckingham Palace announced today that wedding plans for Prince William and his bride, commoner Kate Middleton, had been briefly disrupted by concern that Westminster Abbey, the planned sight for the nuptials, had been “desecrated” by an illegal wedding between an American businessman and his own daughter.
“Fortunately, the story turned out to be complete hogwash,” a Palace spokesman stated. “The last wedding at Westminster Abbey was that of Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness, Prince Philip. I believe we would have been advised of any subsequent ceremonies.”
“An investigation revealed that the source of the story was an American weekly tabloid, which at the time was edited by someone with a long history of this kind of hoax,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman referred to Tony Ortega, now editor of New York City’s Village Voice, who has published several stories exposed as fictions. His most recent hoax alleged that Bruce McMahan, a billionaire hedge fund manager, had married his daughter in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Ortega’s basis for the story was a photograph of a pair of hands wearing wedding rings, and the claims of McMahan’s daughter, who was later revealed to be seeking revenge for her termination from a job at one of his companies.
Ms. McMahan failed a lie detector test administered at the request of her own attorney, who dropped Ms. McMahan as a client following the result of the test.
Bishop Anthony d’Or Teaguewah, Regent of the Abbey, commented that “We were relieved to find that this simply an abominable invention, promulgated by an unhappy and disturbed woman, and published by a charlatan scribbler with no apparent regard for the sanctity of either the Abbey or the truth.”
Noting that Ortega had republished the smear on a number of occasions on the flimsiest of pretexts, the Bishop dismissed any concern that the upcoming wedding might stimulate yet another revival of the now-discredited hoax.
“Let him, as the saying goes, ‘publish and be damned,'” the Bishop stated. “That’s his affair; we will no longer concern ourselves with this matter. Since attention is clearly what he craves, we will withhold ours, and hope that others will see fit to do likewise.”
According to sources close to the Palace, the royal attitude towards the Voice’s allegation is short but to the point: “Absolute rot.”