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Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, had her cellphone voicemails hacked by staff members of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World while she was dating Prince William, a London court learned Thursday.
The revelation marked the first time that a member of the British royal family has been hacked by the Murdoch media empire, which already has acknowledged tapping into phone calls of royal aides.
On Thursday, a London jury heard transcripts of 2006 voicemails left for the former Kate Middleton by Prince William as they dated. In those intercepted messages, the future king of England called his sweetheart pet names like “baby” and “babykins” and recounted how he nearly got "shot" (with blanks) during a military training exercise, according to court reporting by Central News UK.
“Hi baby, it’s me,” one message from the prince begins. William then details an evening navigation exercise at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, during which, he admits, he got “horribly lost.”
“I walked into some other regiment's ambush, which was slightly embarrassing because I nearly got shot,” he said. “Not by live rounds but by blank rounds, which would be very embarrassing.”
The voicemail transcripts were read in court by prosecutors during the trial of numerous News of the World editors accused of phone hacking and other offenses while working for the since-defunct newspaper owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The voicemails belonged to royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who is on trial with editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, managing editor Stuart Kuttner and several others. All deny charges that they conspired to illegally intercept voicemails from various cell phones during reporting efforts.
Goodman, Coulson, and Brooks are also accused of corrupting public officials.