London: The Queen was concerned that police were eating all the nibbles left out for guests ahead of the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, it has been claimed at the phone-hacking trial.
According to an email sent by the News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman in 2005 to his then editor Andy Coulson, she was “upset” that all the “nuts being left out” were being scoffed by palace officers.
Andrew Edis QC, counsel for the prosecution, told the jury at the Old Bailey criminal court in London yesterday that the Queen is “irritated by this”, according to Goodman’s email.
Goodman told Coulson: “Queen furious about police stealing bowls of nuts and nibbles left out for her in apartments in the BP [Buckingham Palace]/Queen’s corridor. She has a very savoury tooth and staff leave out cashews, Bombay Mix, almonds etc Prob is that police on patrol eat the lot.
“She started marking the bowls to see when the levels dipped,” he added.
There was laughter in court as the judge interrupted proceedings, jesting that these were all “unfounded allegations”.
The email was written ahead of the wedding on the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles
Goodman also said in the email that he “has been told by the printer who’s doing the order of service for Prince of Wales wedding, there’s friction between Clarence House and Church of England”. He continues: “I don’t know what the conflict is about specifically is yet.”
Goodman also updated Coulson on the status of the invite list for the wedding. “My man in charge of invite vetting — only person to have accepted so far is Tony Blair,” he says.
The jury were taken through further emails from Goodman to Coulson regarding Prince William and Prince Harry at Sandhurst including the claim, already made to the jury, that Harry had cheated on an essay.
Goodman also expressed his anger that the paper’s deputy managing editor, Paul Nicholas, had challenged cash payments to his sources on royal stories.
In an email sent to his sister, who worked at the paper as a subeditor, he said “I feel like peeling his face off his skull” and he complained that Nicholas wouldn’t know what a story was. Goodman and Coulson have been charged with conspiring to cause misconduct in public office, a charge they both deny.
The jury also heard that payments were made in relation to Goodman stories in the paper to two people listed in the News of the World contributor system as “David Farrish” and “Anderson”.
Some of the stories, for which “Anderson” was paid, concerned terrorist alerts relating to President Bush’s visit to the UK and Sir John Stevens’s inquiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Metropolitan police detective inspector David Kennett, questioned by the prosecution, confirmed that police inquiries found “no trace” of a Farrish or an Anderson at addresses linked to them.
Kennett confirmed to the jury that Farrish and Alexander do not appear to be real people. “In short summary, they don’t appear to exist.”
Payment records at News of the World publisher News International show that Farrish payments included 62 for “royal” stories, 23 for “royal police” stories, one for “police” stories and five other payments.
Farrish was also paid for the royal “green books”, which the jury heard were directories of all royal household members. Goodman had told his then editor Coulson that this contained the Queen’s direct lines to family members.
Kennett was asked by counsel for Coulson whether inquiries were made as to the identity of Farrish and Anderson. He replied: “Yes.”
Counsel for Goodman, David Spens QC, told the jury that Goodman had been convicted and jailed in relation to phone-hacking offences in January 2007. He then asked Kennett if he had been charged at the time with stealing the books or handling stolen goods.
Kennett said he new nothing about this because the police did not have sight of the emails requesting payment for the royal directories until 2011. Guardian News
Spens told the jury that Goodman, who has a clean record with no convictions apart from the hacking offence in 2007, was not charged with a conspiracy to cause misconduct in public office until six years later on 23 November 2012.
The trial continues.