Prince Charles has had his feeding tube removed. The tube which was inserted soon after his birth was removed late last night after Law Lords ruled it "Constitutionally unsafe and morally wrong to take no action."
Many commentators have expressed surprise at the public reaction to the news. When questioned by reporters palace spokesman Gerald Pompous - Creep said, "Surely everyone knew of his condition. No? Well it's quite simple. As you all know he was born without ears and his ears, which were donated from an elephant embryo, were grafted on when he was six weeks old.
"These ears were chosen with the express purpose of disguising the tube which has its entry point behind the left ear and runs around the back of his head to his right ear where a funnel is located into which nutrition can be poured.
"As many of you have observed, his mannerisms; jerking of the head, strange guttural utterances, and a general air of being detached from reality have recently become much worse. This is in fact due to his increasingly deteriorating condition which has now reached the stage where we feel that the only humane thing to do is end his and everyone else's suffering."
The news has not met with universal approval. A spokesman for the Society for the Preservation of Redundant Monarchs (SPORM) said, "This is the thin end of the wedge. It's the beginning of the end. We're on the slippery slope to anarchy. The writing is on the wall. The die has been cast."
An appeal has been presented to the House of Lords by SPORM who want the tube reinserted. Doctors who removed the tube say that it will be almost impossible to reverse the process because new ears would need to be transplanted and it is highly unlikely that an elephant embryo with the correct DNA profile will become available in time if at all. Also animal rights groups are not happy with this type intervention and elephants are generally against it.
The prince will still take on a full programme of public engagements for some time. "No-one will notice anything different, he could go on for years like this." Sighed, Mr. Pompous - Creep.