Prince Harry was recently ordered to return from Afghanistan, his deployment there being deemed too dangerous for a Prince of the Royal Blood. But in a surprising development, all 5700 British troops in Afghanistan were also brought home for the same reason.
"It was quite unexpected for all British troops in Afghanistan to demand to come home along with Harry" said Defence Minister Des Browne. "After all, he's a Prince. But then his 5700 mates pointed out that since Harry's real father was Major James Hewitt, they've all got just as much royal blood in them as Harry does. They had me there! So it was home with the lot of them."
"Prince" Harry himself admits to mixed emotions over his early return. "We were doing so well over there. Things have calmed down now that the Taliban is in power again, and Afghanistan is back to supplying 93% of the world's opium. So I was proud to go, military service being a tradition in my family. My father, Mr Hewitt, was a major in the Army, after all."
"Still, it's great to be home. I got a warm welcome at Heathrow from HRH Prince Charles. Spendid old bloke, that Prince is. He's been almost like a father to me. I do so hope he'll get to be King before he's dead."
Not pleased at this development were Islamic extremists, who had threatened Harry's life. "We were outraged that a British Royal Prince had defiled Islamic ground." explained Al Qaeda spokeman Ashur du Smelbad. "But now we learn there are 5700 such Princes! That Major James Hewitt has been one busy boy, hasn't he? We cannot kill all those Princes, now that they greatly outnumber us."
But Whitehall was taking no chances. It ordered all British troops to bodyguard all 5700 of their recently returned mates, as they were already doing for Harry. In effect, the Army was now doing little except to bodyguard itself.
That ended, however, when all British troops were honourably discharged, leaving the ranks empty. Defence Minister Browne explains, "I was even more reluctant to discharge them than to return them home as Princes all.
"But the troops claimed they couldn't be bothered to serve out their enlistments since they had to work on a friend's political campaign, and after that go back to university. What else could I do but let them out? That excuse was good enough for President Bush, after all."