Prime Minister David Cameron has been put in an awkward position after staff at No.10 reported the disappearance of a number of wallets, handbags and mobile phones immediately following the Queen’s visit to Downing Street yesterday.
‘Four briefcases, a few coats and a laptop also appear to have been mislaid,’ explained an embarrassed-looking Cameron. ‘I’m sure it’s just an unfortunate coincidence, but should anyone realise that they have accidentally removed these missing items – perhaps not discovering them until they are back home in the comfort of their own palace – then it would be great to have them returned and iron out this misunderstanding.’
‘We’re also missing several pieces of display silver and a full-length oil portrait of Pitt the Younger,’ he added.
CCTV footage of the Queen leaving Downing Street is inconclusive, though it does show her disposing of the 60 commemorative place mats she was presented by the Cabinet in a wastepaper basket just inside the doorway and muttering the word ‘tat’.
‘Some might argue that when the Queen left she seemed to fill out her winter coat a little more than she did earlier, or that she didn’t arrive with a shopping trolley full of goods, but there is bound to be a simple explanation for all this,’ continued Cameron. ‘And I definitely said she should feel free to help herself to the Christmas tree and red carpet we had outside No.10.’
The Metropolitan Police has sought to allay public concern about the incident. ‘These sorts of mix-ups are all too common at this time of year, especially among those who have a big family to buy for at Christmas and big heating bills,’ said a spokeswoman. ‘Nevertheless, we would urge members of the public to be on their guard over the festive period against criminals masquerading as monarchs who may seek to dupe their way into people’s homes and rob them blind.’
Commentators say that the Queen’s visit to Downing Street was the first time that a reigning monarch has attended a peace-time meeting of Cabinet since 1781 when George III was on the look out for a new dining table and matching set of chairs.