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Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.

London (Rooters) – Royal Hosier Cedric Hagglesworth today released the vital and long-awaited news that Prince William will wear deceptively simple black stockings for his wedding April 29 to Catherine Middleton, but declined to disclose anything about the leg wear of the royal bride.

“After all, her limbs will be concealed under that beautiful gown, so it hardly matters,” said Hagglesworth, whose firm has been making stockings for the nobility since the 16th century. He personally has been charged with the design and manufacture of royal hosiery since 1968.

“However,” he continued, “I can tell you that the prince’s stockings will be calf length, and while they will appear a simple black on cursory examination, a close view will disclose a black-on-black pattern of the British lion rampant.

“A similar pattern, though white-on-white, will grace Prince Williams briefs, which he has decided to wear in lieu of boxers, which are apt to bunch and ruin the line of his royal trousers.

“Similarly, his ‘wife beater’ (excuse a little jest) will be of silk with a white-on-white pattern of shamrocks, thistles and leeks, representing the monarchy’s Irish, Scottish and Welsh domains.”

Hagglesworth added primly that “delicacy again forbids” disclosure of the style of Miss Middleton’s undergarments, but a source inside the Hagglesworth factory informed us the bride had decided on a fairly standard kit, with patterns of knickers and slip echoing those of her groom’s foundational garb.

Informed of this reporter’s discoveries, Hagglesworth said, “I can neither confirm nor deny anything regarding the bride, but I can tell you Prince William will have simple pajamas of a fine, light Shetland wool.”

“That’s virgin wool, of course,” he added with a sly wink.

Despite the Hagglesworth discretion regarding Miss Middleton’s attire, design of her undergarments will not remain under wraps for long. Their patterns were obtained through industrial espionage by the American firm Victoria’s Secret, which will issue commemorative versions soon after the royal nuptials.

The new line – in sizes ranging upwards from those approximating the bride’s willowy physiognomy – will be called “Queen Victoria’s,” a title that has obvious resonance in the United Kingdom.

“I can hardly wait!” exclaimed a woman in the Harrod’s lingerie department. “Wearing Lady Victoria’s will make me feel just a bit … you know … royal! I can just imagine … Well, never you mind what I can imagine.”

So far, no interest has been evinced in duplicating William’s socks.

Meanwhile, the production of wedding memorabilia proceeds at breakneck pace. Most recently added to the list of imprinted mugs, spoons, thimbles, cup-and-saucer sets and T-shirts, as well as replica engagement rings and porcelain effigies of the royal couple, is a line of Prince William toys, including a ‘Prince’s Helicopter Set,’ with a little ‘copter and a William action figure “with rescue grip.”

We are free to disclose at this point that the bridesmaids and page boys for the ceremony itself – ranging in age from only three to 10 years and representing a number of noble families – will lend a welcome relief from the solemnity of the occasion by appearing costumed as munchkins and fairies.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who confirmed Miss Middleton in the Church of England only last week, will eschew traditional vestments and wear instead a chasuble embroidered in gold with the image of the prince’s late mother, Princess Diana, and Elton John will render “Candle in the Wind” as the recessional.

There has been some whispering over the fact that Miss Middleton was confirmed in the Church of England last week by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, rather than the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Although the archbishop, by tradition, should have done the job, ecclesiastical experts say it really is of little importance, as long as Miss Middleton isn’t Roman Catholic. British law forbids Catholics – and more importantly, anyone married to a Catholic – from assuming the throne of the realm. William, of course, is in direct line of succession.

“I guess you could say that’s more important than the prince’s socks,” said Hagglesworth, chuckling. “By the way, did you know our firm has been making stockings for royalty since Henry VIII outlawed the Catholic orders and expropriated their property? He never wore underwear, though.”

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