Queen Elizabeth, opening ceremony


The hacking case involving the now-shuttered News of the World is proving an embarrassment of riches.

Queen Elizabeth II apparently got so annoyed when police officers kept nibbling on nuts that had been placed around her quarters at Buckingham Palace for Her Majesty's snacking pleasure, the palace fired off a memo warning her guards to "keep their sticky fingers out" of the queen's nut bowls.

This salty tidbit according to an email written by a former NOTW royals editor, Clive Goodman, to senior editor Andy Coulson, both of whom are currently on trial—along with five others—for allegedly hacking, or directing others to hack, into people's (and royals'!) voicemail, including one account belonging to a murder victim, to gather information. (An eighth defendant, Ian Edmondson, fell ill and has been declared unfit to stand trial at the moment.)

"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," read Goodman's email, per the BBC.

"Queen furious about police stealing bowls of nuts and nibbles left out for her in apartments in the BP/Queen's corridor," the note continued. "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."

Royals: They nosh, just like us.

The nuts "were all being scoffed by police," prosecutor Andrew Edis explained in court. "That irritated Her Majesty apparently." 

His remark prompted laughter in the courtroom, after which the judge reminded the jury that the nut-munching was "an unproven allegation."

Coulson, Goodman and fellow defendants Rebekah Brooks, her husband Charles Brooks, Stuart Kuttner, Mark Hanna and Cheryl Carter have all denied being involved in any hacking conspiracy.

Coulson and Goodman are also accused of arranging to pay palace security to nick phone books for them.

"One of our Palace police is about to get his hands on the two Royal phone books," Goodman wrote to Coulson in another email, this one from March 2005, read in court, per the Daily Mail. "They are enormously useful, we usually pay [1,000 pounds] each for them. They are very rare items."

Goodman wrote again that May, "Very risky document for him to nick. Ok to put the credit through?"

Rebekah Brooks has pleaded not guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice and two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office. Coulson and Goodman have denied two counts of misconduct in a public office. 

Carter, Hanna and Charles Brooks have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, while Rebekah, Coulson, Edmondson and Kuttner all denied a count of conspiracy to intercept communications as well.

Yesterday in court, the prosecution presented another email from Goodman in which he wrote that Prince Harry's former girlfriend Chelsy Davy sent him "dozens of calls and texts" while he was going through military training at Sandhurst.

An embarrassment of riches, indeed.

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