So Clive Goodman, royal editor of the News of the Screws, has pleaded guilty. And, according to the Media Guardian, Sun editor Rebekah Wade was not the only one checking her messages either...
Here's what I wrote for Eye 1165 back in August, when he was first arrested:
The News of the World’s Royal Editor, Clive Goodman, was charged last week in with the illegal interception of phone calls made by members of the royal family. Here are some of the stories Goodman has published over the last year – all, naturally, acquired through his excellent contacts in the royal household and good old-fashioned journalism.
4 December: “Prince Harry is in secret talks with Comic Relief for a joint project to help HIV victims in an impoverished African state. The 21-year-old prince has made the Mants'ase care home for orphans in Lesotho his pet cause since a gap-year stint there before joining Sandhurst military academy.”
18 December: “Christmas comes as a welcome rest for Prince Harry’s private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. Because on top of normal duties, JLP has been giving Harry a guiding hand through his Sandhurst studies… ‘It’s like Who Wants To Be a Brigadier with Jamie as Harry’s phone-a-friend lifeline,” joked one colleague.”
15 January: “As Prince William pines for girlfriend Kate Middleton, he’s doing his best to make his Sandhurst quarters more homely… ‘Everything is khaki this and khaki that. It’s all completely army,’ he confided to a pal.”
12 February: “We reveal how Wills is grooming his Valentine to be a royal… and their secret nicknames… The pair have been secretly phoning and texting each other every day and even arranged to meet – strictly against Sandhurst rules. A pal said: ‘Willie would hide his phone in his kit and send her a cheeky text so she knew she wasn’t on her own’… He has a picture of her in his room. ‘I don’t know if its allowed,’ Wills joked to a cadet. ‘I might get b*******d for breaking rules or congratulated on my taste.’”
26 February: “Unlike younger brother Harry, Prince William doesn’t go in for boozy bonding binges with his platoon. Harry’s friends are used to fielding drunken calls in the early hours as he screams good natured abuse at them.”
19 March: “Chelsy Davy and Prince Harry are slipping off for a hideaway holiday in an attempt to patch up their rocky romance. The couple haven’t seen each other since welcoming the new year together and Chelsy’s only communication with the prince has been when he makes his late night drunken calls from nightclubs. ‘The phone will go at 3am or 4am and it’s him swearing how much he loves her,’ said a family friend. ‘It would be more convincing if there weren’t music, clinking glasses and girl’s voices in the background.’”
9 April: “Shame-faced Prince Harry has been given a furious dressing-down over his late-night antics in a lapdancing bar. Yesterday the repentant Prince took an ear-bashing phone call as news broke. ‘It’s Chelsy. How could you? I see you had a lovely time without me. But I miss you so much, you big ginger, and I want you to know that I love you,’ said a hysterical voice. Luckily the caller was joker brother Prince William. He thought the whole episode was hilarious and decided to take the mickey by putting on a high-pitched South African accent.”
16 April: “Boozy Prince William and his gang of braying pals outraged guests at Prince Harry’s passing-out ball with disgraceful drunken antics. Just hours afterwards Sandhurst’s commandant General Andrew Ritchie rang William’s office at Clarence House to register the complaints and ask for an explanation. The prince’s private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton is now trying to smooth over the row.”
16 July: “A laptop containing ‘highly sensitive’ royal files has been stolen from Buckingham Palace,” reveals Goodman in yet another royal exclusive. “Police are taking the theft very seriously. An aide added: ‘They won’t stop looking until they find out who’s got this laptop.’”
Three weeks later, police are reported to be searching the offices of the News of the World in Wapping while Goodman is interrogated in Charing Cross Police Station. Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation?