Phone hacker: Queen annoyed by nut-eating police
LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II was so annoyed by police officers eating nuts laid out at Buckingham Palace that she marked a line on the bowl to monitor the level, jurors heard Thursday at Britain’s tabloid phone hacking trial.
The unusual allegation was included in an email from then-News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman – who has been convicted of eavesdropping on the voice mails of royal staff – to his editor, Andy Coulson.
Goodman’s 2005 email claimed royal staff had put out a selection of nuts including cashews, almonds and Bombay mix around the palace.
“Problem is that police on patrol eat the lot ... memo now gone around to all palace cops telling them to keep their sticky fingers out,” Goodman wrote.
“Queen so narked she has started marking the bowls to see when the levels dipped.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the nut allegations.
Goodman was briefly jailed in 2007, along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, for eavesdropping on the voice mails of aides to Prince William and Prince Harry. He denies new charges of conspiring with Coulson to pay police officers for two royal phone directories.
Goodman and Coulson are on trial alongside former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and four others on a variety of hacking-related charges.
The nuts email was used as evidence by the prosecution of Goodman’s inside knowledge of activity at the palace and his communications with Coulson about it in the runup to the 2005 wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.
The trial stems from the revelation in 2011 that employees of the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid eavesdropped on the voice mails of royalty, celebrities, politicians, athletes and even crime victims in its search for scoops.
The news led Murdoch to shut down the News of the World, Britain’s best-selling Sunday newspaper, and sparked broad police investigations into tabloid wrongdoing. Murdoch’s News Corp. has paid millions in compensation to people whose phones were hacked.
The defendants deny a variety of charges related to hacking, bribing public officials and obstructing a police investigation.
An eighth defendant, former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson, was dropped from the trial Thursday – seven weeks after hearings began – because doctors have declared him unfit to stand trial.
Judge John Saunders said Edmondson would be tried by a different jury once he has recovered.