UK paper hacked phones of Prince William's wife, brother: court

Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:59am EST
 
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - The phones of Prince William's wife Kate Middleton and Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth's grandson, were hacked by staff working for Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid, a London court was told on Thursday.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis told the Old Bailey criminal court that recordings of messages to Kate from William, including one in which he called her "Babykins", were discovered at the home of the paper's ex-royal editor and a private eye working for the tabloid in 2006.

Then-editor Andy Coulson, who was later Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief, is on trial, along with six others, on charges that include conspiracy to illegally intercept voicemails from mobiles. They all deny the charges.

"Hi baby, it's me," William, second-in-line to the British throne, said in one message read to the jury by Edis.

The prince was at the military academy Sandhurst at the time and he tells his then-girlfriend how he almost got shot while on a training exercise.

"I walked into some other regiment's ambush, which was slightly embarrassing because I nearly got shot. Not by live rounds but by blank rounds, which would be very embarrassing though," the message said.

He adds he might later send her "a cheeky text", ending the call "All right, baby, lots of love".

In another voicemail, he refers to Kate by her pet name "Babykins", while in a further call he discusses plans to go "beagling" - hunting with beagle dogs, Edis said.   Continued...

 
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, wears 3D glasses before a screening of "David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive 3D" with her husband Britain's Prince William at the Natural History Museum in London December 11, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett