A television reporter today described the moment he and Prince William realised that the mobile phone voicemail messages of British royal aides could have been hacked into.
Tom Bradby, ITV’s political editor, claimed details of a meeting he had arranged with the prince appeared in the News of the World before it had even taken place.
When he eventually met William and discussed the matter, the prince also raised concerns about another story that had appeared about a meeting with his knee surgeon.
They concluded that one of the ways these details could have got out was if mobile phone voicemail messages had been intercepted, he said.
The News of the World’s royal editor Clive Goodman is currently being questioned along with another man by police over alleged security breaches involving the mobile phones of royal officials.
Scotland Yard’s Anti-Terrorist Branch investigation is also examining whether other high-profile public figures or members of the Royal Household had their voicemail messages hacked into.
At least one cabinet minister, but not the prime minister, is understood to have been among those affected along with high-profile celebrities, top footballers and other senior politicians.
Mr Bradby, a former ITV News royal correspondent, told the channel’s lunchtime bulletin: “I was due to have a private meeting with William and I was pretty surprised to find that, not only details of the meeting, but of what we were going to discuss pitched up in the News of the World the Sunday before.
“When he and I hooked up we both looked at each other and said: ‘Well, how on earth did that get out?’ and we worked out that only he and I and two people incredibly close to him had actually known about it.
“Then we started discussing one or two other things that had happened recently. There had been a meeting he had had with a knee surgeon that again only he and his personal secretary and the knee surgeon had known about that had got into the News of the World.
“Basically, the answer we came up with was that it must be something like breaking into mobile answering machine messages.
“His chief of staff is a former SAS officer and his attitude was that: ‘If this is potentially happening to us, who on earth else could it be happening to?'
“He passed his concerns on to the police. The police had a small investigation to begin with into the localised incident in Clarence House.
“What they discovered then alarmed them enough to hand it to IT specialists from the anti-terrorist police, who looked much more broadly.”
Clarence House is the official residence of Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, and Princes William and Harry.