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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit St Andrews University, where they met.

If you’ve been following news events in the UK around certain tabloid newspapers and who they’ve employed to hack into the mobile phone accounts of various celebrities, you may think you’ve heard it all. But did you know Kate Middleton has now been revealed as the top target for phone hackers? Beating even Tony Blair?

Two days ago, the actress Sienna Miller took a £100,000 damages settlement from the News of the World, after they hired a private investigator to intercept her phone calls and voicemails. Now it has emerged that the Duchess of Cambridge’s phone — back when it was still just Kate Middleton’s phone — was hacked during the years 2005-6, during her final university year and after graduation.

Jonathan Rees, a private detective, was identified by the Guardian as the man who had attempted to hack into Kate’s phone, as well as the cellphones of Tony Blair, his former cabinet colleagues Jack Straw and Peter Mandelson, and even the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Insiders in the police, who are investigating the matter, claim Kate’s phone was under attack from hackers on an “astonishing scale,” as this was the period where her relationship with Prince William was first revealed to the wider world. For the same reason, Prince Harry’s girlfriend, Chelsy Davy is thought to have been under the same kind of surveillance.

A security insider told the Mail: “Kate Middleton appears to have been in a league of her own in terms of the amount of hacking attempts made on her mobile phone. She was routinely targeted dozens of times a day and on some occasions this figure would reach three figures.”

The issue has even been raised in Prime Minister’s Questions, with David Cameron taking a wait-and-see approach: “The police are free to investigate the evidence and take that wherever it leads them, and then mount a prosecution with the Crown Prosecution Service if the evidence supports that.”

And he’s got a point, in 2007, private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and the News of the World’s royal editor, Clive Goodman, were jailed for illicit phone hacking activities.

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By Fraser McAlpine