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Queen Elizabeth’s staffer is serving jail time after admitting to stealing items from the reigning monarch’s royal residence and selling them on eBay.
Buckingham Palace catering assistant Adam Canto pleaded guilty to three counts of theft between November 2019 and August 2020 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the BBC reported on Tuesday. The 37-year-old was sentenced on Monday to eight months in jail.
The former palace staffer stole a "significant quantity" of items, which were discovered by police at his quarters in the palace’s Royal Mews. The items included signed official photographs of Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as a royal state banquet photo album of President Trump’s visit to the U.K.
According to the outlet, about 77 items were taken from the palace shop, while others were stolen from staff lockers and Prince Andrew’s storeroom.
Queen Elizabeth, 94, has not been back at her London residence since March.
(Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
In addition, Canto admitted to stealing a Companion of Bath medal belonging to the Master of the Household, Vice Admiral Master Tony Johnstone-Burt; and a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order medal from the locker of former British Army officer Maj Gen Richard Sykes, which was given to him by Elizabeth, 94, in 2010.
In a statement, Johnstone-Burt said he first realized his medal was missing when he wanted to wear it for Elizabeth’s Trooping the Colour. He was later told by staff that the stolen items were for sale online.
Prosecutor Simon Maughan told the court that the stolen goods, totaling between $13,000 and $135,000, were listed for sale on eBay. However, a total of 37 items were sold on the auction site for "well under" their value. Canto earned $10,000 from the sales.
The outlet noted that Canto took advantage of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic when he gained more access to offices and other rooms he normally didn’t frequent.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during "The Patron’s Lunch" celebrations for The Queen’s 90th birthday at The Mall on June 12, 2016 in London, England.
(Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Royal staffers faced being laid off this summer due to the pandemic as many of the British royal family’s palaces and castles remained closed, People magazine previously reported.
The outlet shared that the staff is employed by the Royal Collection Trust, the charity that runs the opening of the palaces and its accompanying stores. The Trust’s income comes almost entirely from visitors through ticket and gift shop sales.
With the palaces closed due to COVID-19, it is estimated that "tens of millions have been wiped off the expected earnings" for 2020.
Queen Elizabeth has not been back at her London residence since March. She’s been spending her time with husband Prince Philip, 99, at Windsor Castle, Sandringham estate and Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
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