Sandringham, Norfolk - (Spouse Grouse): Prince Philip's pot-shot at a stray ginger pussy is what started it, apparently.
Withdrawal symptoms triggered by a dearth of seasonal game first saw the old curmudgeon resort to playing Russian Roulette with the Queen's corgis.
"Of course, she caught him red-handed, heheh," a Palace footman said today, "and immediately confiscated the trusty 12-bore."
A security sweep of the Sandringham House shotgun cupboard also removed an array of ballistic items - including rocket launchers, hand grenades and minature cluster bombs.
The latter are believed to be souvenir items that Prince Harry brought back from Afghanistan during his last matrimonial visit to Taleban in-laws.
The hardware had been stored ahead of any potential coup d'etat by disgruntled subjects 'disgusted at the prospect of yet another hoax royal wedding'.
Desperation measures then bit hard as Philip's gofers succeeded in smuggling in guns and ammo from easily-bribed Royal Protection Racket cops.
Nearly a week of being holed up in the royal estate's bleak permafrost acres without so much as a plump woodcock to blast has clearly been an ordeal for the old bastard.
The growing tally of executed beasts now totals four cats, a stray schnauzer, a rare ferret-wombat hybrid escapee from Norwich Zoo and a one-eyed African lizard that Princess Anne was training to deputise for her at royal garden parties.
Kate Middleton is 69.