After more than fifty years in the job, Sir Digby St John Filigree-Gresham, veteran food taster to the Queen, passed away in considerable pain yesterday after sampling a mushroom omelette prepared for Her Majesty by her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles.
‘HRH The Prince of Wales made the omelette with the spoils of a mushroom gathering trip to Loch Muick that he had undertaken just that morning,’ said a Buckingham Palace spokesman today. ‘He intended the meal to be a special surprise for his elderly mother. No one is sadder about how things have turned out than Prince Charles himself.’
Detectives now suspect that The Prince of Wales may have mistakenly picked a number of highly poisonous toadstools rather than edible wild mushrooms. ‘It is an easy mistake to make,’ said investigating officer DCI Dowling of the Metropolitan Police. ‘Indeed Prince Charles has made the same mistake twice already this year, and he’s an experienced organic farmer.’
Friends of Sir Digby say that his sudden demise followed years of ill health in his role. ‘During his service he chalked up 19 bouts of salmonella poisoning, 52 episodes of gastroenteritis and suffered from near-constant diarrhoea,’ said one. ‘Luckily Prince Charles always seemed to be on hand to suggest a herbal remedy. In fact we used to joke with Charles that if he’d had a motive the police would have brought him in for questioning long ago. But of course he didn’t – why would he want to bump off the Queen’s official food taster?’
Although Sir Digby will be much mourned, his death is good news for his son Basil Filigree-Gresham who now inherits the position vacated by his father. ‘Finally! I’d been waiting almost 60 years for the old man to pop his clogs,’ he said today. His first assignment is to accompany the Queen to dinner with her eldest son at Highgrove where the menu promises pufferfish on a bed of rhubarb leaves.