Princes William and Harry targets of NOTW phone hacking operation, trial hears

By Martin Hickman

Princes William and Harry were targets of the News of the World’s phone hacking operation, the phone hacking trial heard today.

At the Old Bailey, prosecutor Andrew Edis read out a series of recordings of voicemails left by or for the princes which were recovered from the homes of the News of the World’s private detective, Glen Mulcaire, and its royal editor, Clive Goodman, in 2006.

The Metropolitan Police, who have had the recordings since 2006, and the Royal Household, have previously denied that the princes were hacked.

Mr Edis did not explicitly say that the messages had been hacked.

However, the jury were read the transcripts of messages left on Prince Harry’s phone by Prince William and by a message from Prince William on the phone of his then girlfriend, Kate Middleton.

In a voicemail on Kate Middleton’s phone in 2006, Prince William referred to her affectionately as “babykins” and recounted how he had been “shot” with blank rounds while on a nigh exercise at Sandhurst military academy.

He told her: “I’ve been running around the woods of Aldershot chasing shadows and getting terribly lost, and 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.”

In another voicemail message, he referred to leaving Sandhurst so that he could go “beagling” – drag hunting with dogs.

In another recording transcript read to the court, Prince William left a jokey message for Prince Harry with a high-pitched South African voice, referring to him as a “big fat hairy ginger.”

The prince was mockingly pretending to be an irritated Chelsey Davey, his brother’s girlfriend at the time.

In a new email read to the jury, the News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, replied “okey dokey” to a request by Mr Goodman for an extension to “the Matey trial.”

The court has previousy heard that “Matey” was a term used from Mr Mulcaire, whom Mr Goodman was paying for royal hacking.

Mr Coulson denies plotting to hack phones. The case continues.

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