The hacking scandal in the U.K. has now gone really royal.
“Voicemails left for Kate Middleton by [then-boyfriend] Prince William were hacked by the News of the World, the phone-hacking trial has heard,” the BBC writes. “In one message William used the pet name ‘babykins.’ ”
The Guardian says that in 2006 “The News of the World hacked voicemail messages from Prince William to Kate Middleton, including one in which he [says he] ‘nearly got shot’ by blank rounds in an army training exercise, a court has been told. Transcripts of intimate and private messages left by the prince while he was training at Sandhurst military academy in which he call Kate, his future wife, ‘baby’ and ‘babykins’ were read to the jury in the hacking trial at the Old Bailey on Thursday.”
Vanity Fair adds that “this is the first time in the trial, now some two months old, that the now-defunct publication has been accused of gaining access to the phone of actual royals; previously, the paper had been charged with illegally tapping into phones used by royal aides.”
The Associated Press reminds readers that “seven people, including former News of the World editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, are on trial on charges related to wrongdoing at the defunct Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper.
According to the Guardian, “the intercepted voicemails produced a string of exclusives for the paper including one headlined “Harry aide helps out in Sandhurst exams” and another revealing that William was out ‘beagling’ [hunting with beagles].”
As for the account of the prince almost being shot, the BBC says that:
“Prince William, now the Duke of Cambridge, opened one message to his girlfriend: ‘Hi baby. Um, sorry, I’ve just got back in off my night navigation exercise.’
“He went on: ‘I’ve been running around the woods of Aldershot chasing shadows and getting horribly 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 have been very embarrassing, though.’
“When the exercise story was reported in the News of the World the paper reported that Prince William had been shot with blanks, even though this did not actually happen.”