The decision by Lady Butler-Sloss to quit as the Coroner for the Inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed has caused shock in legal circles.
Lady Butler-Sloss has reportedly denied that her decision to resign as the third coroner, was influenced by outside forces, adding that the shadowy figure who approached her in a dark alley in London yesterday was actually a charity collector for Barnardos and not a sinister MI5 agent working for the Duke of Edinburgh.
Lady Butler-Sloss added "My reason for resigning is that after giving this matter further thought, I have discovered that I do not have the required experience or qualifications to sit as a judge. In fact, I have discovered that I am not a judge at all but a school dinner lady. I don't know what made me think I was a judge all these years."
Mohammed Al Fayed said "She won't be getting any discounts at Harrods any more and we'll be asking for all the free samples back." He added, "I don't know why it took her several months to remember that she is really not a judge. I smell a rat - and a Greek one at that."
Buckingham Palace refused to comment.
The new coroner, Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Scott-Baker, said "I won't start reading the file just yet, in case I resign, too. Let's just take it one step at a time, shall we?"