This is known to the Express' Royal Reporter Richard Palmer, who tweeted it about it on Monday.
But on Tuesday, Express columnist and Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe repeated the story:
“The dog ate my income tax form” or “the dog ate my homework” are proverbial excuses but “the dog ate my pearl earrings” is certainly an original plea. Poor Kate Middleton, whose birthday gift from Prince William was swallowed up by her curious cocker spaniel!
Except they weren't, because she doesn't have a spaniel.
The Prince is reported to have found the whole episode hilarious
Except, he didn't, because there was no 'episode'.
Widdecombe is paid up to £1,100 by the Express for every column she writes.
As Richard Littlejohn shows twice a week, there's lots of money to be made out of re-heating stories without doing any research to see if they're accurate.
[Update: It's been pointed out that although Widdecombe did register £5,000 for one Daily Express article in 2008, she's now paid £4,583 per month for eight hours work on her columns. Post amended.]