Working in Buckingham Palace could sound like a dream to many – the royal family in attendance, the pomp and ceremony you get to witness, all those bright shiny things everywhere…
Sometimes, however, those bright shiny things become impossible to resist.
A member of the royal household staff at Buckingham Palace has been arrested for stealing, among other things, a vice-admiral’s medal called The Order of the Bath which then appeared on eBay.
The coveted item was discovered on the website with a price tag of £350 (about R8 000).
Police were tipped off when staff began noticing items missing from the palace which would then pop up for sale on the popular e-commerce site. Included in the list of royal goodies were picture frames with Prince Harry’s insignia on them, engraved glasses and posh handcrafted Smythson stationery.
A 37-year-old hospitality assistant who has worked at the palace for six years was arrested at the Royal Mews last Friday.
The accused would regularly post on social media about visits to royal estates such as Balmoral and Sandringham and of his invitations to the weddings of Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank last year.
The man’s aunt says she’s “shocked” to hear about the arrest.
‘It is not like him at all. He is absolutely lovely. He has been working at the palace for six years. I don’t know exactly what he does there,” she told the Daily Mail.
Theft from royalty isn’t entirely uncommon.
Back in 2009 the Queen was left appalled after some of her irreplaceable crockery and cutlery were pilfered from her private tent during a garden party at Buckingham Palace. This after she let many of the party’s guests shelter there during a rainy interlude.
“It was an unbelievable abuse of what was a gesture of kindness,” a palace aide said at the time.
Included among the pieces missing were Georgian and Victorian forks and spoons, as well as plates and teacups bearing the queen's cipher.
“Some of these items you cannot put a price on.”
In 1994 a royal painting and some silver was nabbed from a guest bedroom by a former palace employee.
The theft came to light when the painting, valued at the time at £91 600 was offered for sale to a London auctioneer who recognised it as part of the Queen’s Royal Collection.
One could not have been amused.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, latimes.com