London - "Maybe HM thought it was just some loyal oaf lying prostrate as a mark of obeisance," a Westminster Coroner's Court heard today during an inquest into a rotting corpse discovered 'just yards' from the Palace gates.
Opening the inquest into the death of US national Robert James Moore court officials said these things were bound to happen in the rarefied world of the House of Windsor.
"Sometimes it takes years if not decades for things to become apparent," a QC explained, "besides, it used to be awfully chic to have a hermit living at the bottom of your garden, perhaps this is why nobody said very much."
Moore's remains were found at a St James's Park island along with empty liquor bottles and other survival paraphernalia; pathologists estimated he'd been there 'at least three years'.
The discovery of his body prompted questions about 'who else might be dead in the Palace gardens' but protocol considerations ruled out sending in murder squad detectives.
Some reckon Prince Philip's been dead 'since at least 1948'.