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William's pet name for Kate was 'Babykins' phone hacking trial told

PRINCE William's pet name for Kate Middleton before they married was Babykins, the Old Bailey hacking trial heard yesterday.

Transcripts of intimate messages between the couple who became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were read in court.

They were discovered by detectives investigating hacking allegations against the now-defunct News of the World.

In messages left while he was training at Sandhurst, William calls his future wife Babykins and Baby, tries to arrange to meet her and tells her he would love to see her if it was not too late or she was busy at the gym.

In one message, William tells her he nearly got shot in an ambush on an exercise.

The story appeared in the newspaper - "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" because he might have his phone with him before signing off: "All right, Baby, lots of love, um, speak to you soon. Bye-bye."

Among voicemails found by detectives at the home of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was a call from William in which he said: "My head's all right. I've just picked up your message. Oh, my little Babykins! I hope you are all right."

The Babykins nickname appeared in an exclusive in February 2006, which said: "Wills wants the girl he calls Babykins to be his princess." Prince Harry's phone was also hacked, the jury was told.

Former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, and former editor Andy Coulson are accused of conspiring to hack phones with former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

Former News of the World and Sun editor Ms Brooks also faces two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office, linked to alleged payments to public officials.

She also faces two allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Coulson is also facing two allegations that he conspired with the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, and others to commit misconduct in public office.

The hearing was adjourned yesterday until January 6.

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