A Buckingham Palace employee has been jailed for stealing valuables including photos of Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Adamo Canto, 37, took signed pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and a photo album of Donald Trump‘s state visit to Britain.
The BBC reported that the catering assistant also took a signed photo of Prince Harry—in a case that may trigger difficult memories for the two princes.
Canto is not the first palace employee arrested over taking royal belongings: the former butler of the princes’ mother Diana was found with 310 of her possessions in his home.
However, while Canto was jailed for eight months for making £7,741 (around $10,500) selling 37 items on eBay, Burrell was acquitted after an intervention by Queen Elizabeth II in November 2002.
The trial was already underway—and expected to cause significant embarrassment to Prince Charles—when the monarch told her husband and eldest son about a conversation she had had with Burrell in the months after Diana’s death.
A statement on the royal family’s website reads: “In December 1997 the Queen met Mr Burrell privately for about one and a half hours at his request.
“In the course of the discussion Mr Burrell mentioned that he had taken some of the Princess’s papers for safekeeping.”
The prosecution case had been fought on the basis Burrell had not told anyone he had taken Diana’s possessions, meaning the queen’s recollection blew it apart.
Barrister William Boyce told the court the case was “no longer viable because it has proceeded on a false premise that Mr Burrell had never told anyone that he was holding anything for safekeeping.”
It had initially been claimed that Burrell was selling the goods he took, although the royal family’s website highlights that the police admitted in court they had no evidence for this.
The case collapsed almost two years after police first raided Burrell’s home, near Runcorn, in Cheshire, England, discovering private letters, tapes and pictures, including photos of William and Harry as children in the bath with Charles, the Daily Mail reported.
Three-and-a-half years after Diana’s death, Burrell had 2,000 negatives, 30 signed photographs of Diana and her personal notes to William while he was at school.
However, Burrell claimed Diana had given them to him for safekeeping.
Having walked free from court, he wrote a book about the princess that claimed she had sent him a letter saying Prince Charles was planning “an accident in my car.”
The episode caused such hurt to Harry and William that they released a rare public statement at the time of the book’s release in 2003.
Quoted in The Guardian, it read: “We cannot believe that Paul, who was entrusted with so much, could abuse his position in such a cold and overt betrayal.
“It was not only deeply painful for the two of us but also for everyone else affected and it would mortify our mother if she were alive today and, if we might say so, we feel we are more able to speak for our mother than Paul.
“We ask Paul please to bring these revelations to an end.”
In Canto’s case, police found some of the stolen goods at his quarters in the palace’s Royal Mews while others were sold on eBay.
The catering assistant, who had started working at Buckingham Palace in 2015, put 37 items on sale on the online marketplace for prices significantly below their true value, the court heard.
Some were said by police to be worth between £10,000 and £100,000.
He took 77 items from the palace shop, in addition to stealing from staff lockers, the Queen’s gallery shop and the Duke of York’s storeroom, the BBC reported.
Canto, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, also took a Companion of the Bath honors medal, which he sold for £350, and a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order medal from the locker of Major General Richard Sykes.
Canto pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and was jailed on Monday.
Why Palace Thief May Stir Bad Memories for Prince Harry and Prince William The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.