Prince William’s pet nickname for Kate Middleton before the couple were married was “baby-kins”, the jury in the Old Bailey hacking trial has been told.
Transcripts of intimate messages between the couple were discovered by detectives investigating hacking allegations against the now-defunct News of the World (NotW).
William, who left the messages while training at Sandhurst, called his future wife “babykins” and “baby”, tried to arrange to meet up, and told her he would love to see her if it was not too late or she was busy at the gym.
In one message, sent after he finished training, he told her he nearly got shot in an ambush during an exercise.
The story appeared in the NotW under the headline “William shot in ambush” in January 2006. In a voicemail read by prosecutor Andrew Edis, QC, William starts by saying “Hi, baby”, adding: “I had a busy day today again. I’ve been running around the woods of Aldershot chasing shadows and getting terribly lost, and I walked into some other regiment’s ambush, which was slightly embarrassing because I nearly got shot. Not by live rounds but by blank rounds, which would be very embarrassing, though.
“Um, er, yeah, I’m off on exercise tomorrow morning, just for the day, and then I’m back on Saturday first thing, erm, so I probably won’t be able to speak to you tomorrow night.”
He then told her he might send her “a cheeky text message”, before signing off: “All right, baby, lots of love, um, speak to you soon. Bye bye.”
Among details of the voicemails discovered at the home of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was a call from William in which he said: “I’ve just picked up your message. Oh, my little babykins! I hope you are all right. I just tried ringing you but I do not think you would pick it up because it is 5:35am in the morning so it is probably not a very good time to ring you.”
In another message, William said: “Hello baby, it’s me. Sorry I did not ring you earlier and tell you what I was doing. Been a bit of a nightmare day… Planning on definitely coming out, hopefully by sevenish, so I will be with you by quarter to eight at the latest. Hope that’s all right, baby. I can’t wait to see you. Lots of love and I’ll speak to you later.”
In one call from William, he talks of wanting to go on a “beagling” drag hunt. In the call, he says: “You are probably very busy working but if there is any chance you are free, maybe later this afternoon or evening, I might be able to get out. I am going to try and go out beagling again and then come to you
The “babykins” nickname appeared in an exclusive by NotW royal editor Clive Goodman on 12 February, 2006. It said: “Wills wants the girl he calls ‘babykins’ to be his princess.”
In an e-mail shown to the jury, Goodman told then NotW editor Andy Coulson this was a story as leave was not allowed at Sandhurst.
Prince Harry’s phone was also hacked, the jury was told.
A voicemail, also recovered from Mulcaire’s home, involved William playing a joke on his brother by putting on a high-pitched voice as if he was Harry’s then girlfriend Chelsy Davy.
The message said: “Hi, it’s Chelsy here. I just want to say I miss you so much and I think you are the best-looking ginger I have ever seen, although you really are quite ugly for a ginger. It is lovely out here in Africa and hopefully I will see you very soon, you big hairy fat ginger.”
Coulson, ex-NotW managing editor Stuart Kuttner and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks are accused of conspiring to hack phones.
Brooks also faces two counts of conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office and two of conspiracy to pervert the wcourse of justice. Coulson is also accused of conspiring with Goodman and others to commit misconduct in public office.
The case continues on Monday.