The Duke of Cambridge sai dhe has been shocked by the fallout sparked by the decision to alert police after details from a conversation he had on his mobile phone appeared in the News of the World, his friend the journalist Tom Bradby has said.
In 2005, Bradby, who is now ITV News political editor, called William’s mobile phone and the pair had a conversation about meeting up to discuss a project.
When details of the meeting appeared in the now-defunct News Of The World, Bradby suggested that the prince’sl phone might have been hacked.
In 2007, News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman was jailed for four months and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire received a six-month sentence after they admitted intercepting voicemail messages on royal aides’ phones.
Since then, the News Of The World has been closed, the Leveson Inquiry set up and the Prime Minister’s former director of communications, Andy Coulson, has been charged in connection with the phone-hacking scandal.
Bradby told the Radio Times: “When you’re in a situation where you’ve had a conversation with someone, and it’s confidential and then an aspect of it is splattered all over a newspaper, that is uncomfortable.
“So that was why I felt it was right to explore what really happened.
“We talked about it and we agreed that there was some potential security implication and it was then up to them to go to the police, as they did.
“Ultimately, it was that tiny nexus on a trivial, unimportant, irrelevant story that triggered this avalanche.”
Bradby said the “hysteria” aimed at Rupert Murdoch “reached fever pitch at one point” but added: “Do I regret what I did? No, obviously not. I did what I felt was the right thing at the time,” he said.
“I had no idea this was going to happen, and neither did he (William). Have we both occasionally been quite shocked by the scale of the avalanche? Yeah.
“Do I occasionally feel uncomfortable about it? Yup. Do I want to go on talking about it? No.”
He added: “A free press is a pretty critical part of the democratic mix and I would feel nervous about that being diluted.”