19 Dec 2013

Newspaper ‘hacked’ voicemail of Kate ‘babykins’ Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge’s voicemail was hacked by News of the World journalists, the Old Bailey has heard, revealing Prince William’s pet names “babykins” and “baby” for his then girlfriend.

Transcripts of private messages that Prince William left for his future wife were read out in court during the phone hacking trial, in which he calls her “baby” and “babykins”, and says that he was nearly shot during a training exercise.

Prince William also left a voicemail for his brother Harry, pretending to be his girlfriend Chelsey, and calling him a “big, hairy, fat ginger”.

The messages were discovered at the home of the News of the World’s ex-royal editor in 2006 by detectives investigating hacking allegations against the now-defunct newspaper. They are full of “ums” and pet names for the duchess, and see the prince asking if he can see Kate – if she is not too busy.

I’ve been running around the woods of Aldershot chasing shadows and getting terribly lost – Prince William

In one message, sent after he has finished training, William tells her he nearly got shot in an ambush on an exercise. Prosecutors told the court that this story later appeared in the News of the World entitled “William shot in ambush”, in January 2006.

Six people are on trial, including David Cameron’s former head of media Andy Coulson and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, for charges including conpsiracy to illegally intercept voicemails from mobiles. They deny all charges.

‘Oh, my little babykins!’

In a voicemail read out by prosecutor Andrew Edis QC, William starts by saying “Hi baby” adding: “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.

“Um, er, yeah, I’m off on exercise tomorrow morning, just for the day.”

At the time he was at the military academy Sandhurst, and adds that he might send her “a cheeky text message” before signing off: “All right, baby, lots of love, um, speak to you soon. Bye bye.”

In another voicemail, found at the home of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, William says: “I’ve just picked up your message. Oh, my little babykins! I hope you are all right. I just tried ringing you but I do not thing you would pick it up because it is 5.35am in the morning so it is probably not a very good time to ring you. I hope you are all right.”

The jury was also read a transcript of a tape recovered in 2006, which appeared to be of a voicemail left on Prince Harry’s phone, in which William pretended to be his brother’s girlfriend Chelsy Davy.

He called him a “big, hairy, fat ginger”, and added “you really are quite ugly for a ginger”. The jokey message, delivered in a high pitched voice with a South African accent, was referenced in a NOTW article by Clive Goodman printed on 9 April 2006, in which the journalist attributed the quote to Prince William.

The messages have been linked by the prosecution to emails sent at the tabloid and stories alleged to relate to these messages.

The case continues.