Buckingham Palace’s catering assistant stole photos of Kate and William amid other items

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Adamo Canto, 37, has pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to three counts of theft between November 11, 2019 and August 7, 2020. The catering assistant, who started working at the palace in this role in 2015, will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a later date. 

Following the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, Canto’s role changed.

Over the past few months, his duties included more cleaning, a responsibility which offered him access to offices and areas he would normally not step foot in, the court was told.

Canto, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, lived at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace.

Police found in his quarters a “significant quantity” of stolen goods. 

Some of the items discovered were worth between £10,000 to £100,000, prosecutor Simon Maughan said.

Canto put up for sales some of the stolen items on eBay, and 37 were offered for “well under” their true value, with Canto making £7,741, Mr Maughan added.

Among the stolen items there was a royal state banquet photo album, created after US President Donal Trump’s visit to the UK, worth £1,500.

The catering assistant also took official signed photographs of Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate.  

Approximately 77 items were taken from the palace shop.

Other goods have been stolen from different locations such as staff lockers, the Queen’s Gallery shop and the Duke of York’s storeroom, the court was told.

Canto admitted to stealing a Companion of Batch medal which belongs to the Master of the Household, Vice Admiral Master Tony Johnstone-Burt. 

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The item was sold online for £350.

The Vice Admiral said in a statement he realised the medal was missing because he needed to wear it for the Queen’s stripped down Trooping the Colour parade at Windsor Castle.

He added he was later told by staff that stolen goods were for sale online.

Canto also stole a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order medal from the locker of former British Army officer Major Geneneral Richard Sykes. 

This medal had been given him by the Queen in 2010.

District Judge Alexander Jacobs released Canto on conditional bail.

He warned him he faced a possible jail sentence.

Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official working residence in London.

The Queen, however, hasn’t lived at the palace since March 19, a few days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for the first national lockdown in England.    

The Queen and Prince Philip have lived between March and early August at Windsor Castle.

They then travelled to Balmoral Castle to spend their summer break in Scotland – but left earlier than usual, in mid-September.

The elderly couple remained at Wood Farm, the Duke of Edinburgh’s main residence in Norfolk, for a few weeks between mid-September and mid-October, before the Queen returned to work at Windsor Castle.

The Duke and the Queen were reunited again a few days before the second national lockdown, which they chose to spend once again at the castle in Berkshire.  

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