Kate Middleton and her family had their phones hacked, police discover
THE Duchess of Cambridge and her family have been victims of phone hacking.
Kate, her family and staff in the royal household with close connections to senior members of the Royal Family have been targeted and the extent of the hacking was much more widespread than had originally been thought.
The initial investigation into phone hacking identified only five victims -- Prince William, Prince Harry and three royal aides -- who were targeted by the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and the News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman.
Royal aides have confirmed that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall had recently been approached by police in connection with the latest investigation.
However, it is now believed that Mulcaire and Goodman also accessed the voicemails of many more royal officials and members of the Royal Family, together with a wide circle of their family and friends.
It is understood that the police have recently contacted many royal officials to inform them that their voicemails were intercepted.
A source with knowledge of the investigation said: "They (Mulcaire and Goodman) reached out and targeted as many people as they could in that world. If they've targeted Prince William and Prince Harry, you can assume that they targeted their friends and immediate family."
Phone hacking within royal circles was originally exposed in 2005 when Goodman wrote a story regarding a knee injury that Prince William had suffered and another story detailing an arrangement to borrow television editing equipment from Tom Bradby, the ITV News journalist.
Both stories contained information that could only have come from the voicemail messages of Prince William and his aides. The investigation and subsequent trial found that three of Prince William's and Prince Harry's aides had been hacked -- Jamie Lowther Pinkerton, their private secretary; Helen Asprey, the princes' personal secretary; and Paddy Harverson, the Prince of Wales's communications secretary.
Goodman was jailed for four months and Mulcaire for six months after both admitted illegally intercepting messages.
Police have apparently also found evidence that George Best was targeted by Mulcaire.
Detectives will interview Alex Best, his former wife, tomorrow, where they will show her evidence from Mulcaire's notebooks.
Mrs Best, who was divorced from the footballer in 2003, said yesterday she believed their phones were hacked for much of the decade and that this put pressure on Best.
She added: "He had so many problems with alcohol and the pressure they put him under only made things worse. They violated our lives."