Pippa Middleton pictures of William and Kate on holiday stolen in London
08:15 10 January 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Private pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were stolen from the car of Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton, it has emerged.
The intimate photos of Prince William and Catherine on holiday in the Caribbean were pinched when thieves broke into Pippa’s car parked in Chelsea in 2009.
A man then offered them to The Sun newspaper for £25,000.
Duncan Larcombe, royal editor of the tabloid, told the Leveson Inquiry into press standards about the incident.
He said: “I was slightly suspicious as to how he might have got hold of the pictures, so I contacted the Clarence House press office, because they might want to check if anything had gone missing.”
The journalist said police called back to say the car of Pippa Middleton had been broken into.
He said the man and an accomplice were arrested and admitted stealing a camera that was in a handbag.
Mr Larcombe told the inquiry that the newspaper overall had a “very good” relationship with Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.
He said he would contact the royal family’s press offices “100 per cent” of the time to check a story before publishing.
He said: “We speak probably pretty much daily. I think it’s particularly important with royal stories that you get it 100 per cent right.
“From my point of view The Sun is a very pro-royal paper, because the readers are very fond of Prince William and Prince Harry.”
Mr Larcombe gave the inquiry examples of when pictures of the royal family were used in the newspaper, and when they were not.
A picture of Kate shopping at a supermarket just days after her wedding was published because “it was the first time Kate had been seen in a public place since two billion people watched her wedding”.
He said: “I think, for me, it was such an incredible picture because it showed this girl who has just got married in front of two billion people pushing a shopping trolley.”
The journalist referred to a picture of Prince Harry at a nightclub in Las Vegas as an example of a picture The Sun did not publish after Clarence House asked it not to.