A Buckingham Palace royal staffer sold Kate Middleton and Prince William’s photos on eBay, U.K. courts revealed. According to authorities, the staffer stole a “significant quantity” of other items too, stashing them in his living quarters at the Royal Mews until he could resell them for “well under” their actual value online.
Adamo Canto, the catering staff assistant, was charged at the Westminster Magistrates Court accordingly and pled guilty to three counts of theft that occurred between November 11, 2019 through August 7, 2020, the BBC reports. Prosecutor Simon Maughan said in court that Canto stole items from the palace worth anywhere between $13,300 and $133,630. Signed photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex were those found among the stolen palace goods hidden in his living quarters. Other items include a photo album from Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom in 2019, and precious medals, like a Companion of Bath Medal that belonged to the Master of the Household as well as the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order medal that Queen Elizabeth II gave to Major General Richard Sykes in 2010.
According to the court’s prosecution, 37 of these items stolen from the palace were listed on eBay for “well under” their real value, earning Canto around $10,300. An additional 77 items were also stolen from the palace shop, the Queen’s Gallery shop, Prince Andrew’s storeroom, and staff lockers.
Canto was able to steal these items because he was given more access to private offices and areas within the Queen’s residence after he was tasked with more cleaning duties amid the pandemic. Normally, Canto would not have been allowed to access as many spaces. The catering assistant was reportedly released on conditional bail and is expected to be sentenced at a later date, according to the BBC.
News of this security breach at Buckingham Palace comes weeks after a staff “revolt” by the Queen’s Sandringham Estate employees. In October, over 20 Sandringham staffers were asked to isolate at the property before the holiday season to create a safe pod for the Queen, Prince Philip, and other royals, meaning they would be spending Christmas apart from their families. According to The Daily Mail, these employees—which included cleaners like Canto, maintenance workers, and more—all refused to quarantine for a month.