LONDON Britain's Queen Elizabeth was so incensed with royal police officers eating nuts from bowls left out in the corridors of Buckingham Palace that she drew lines on the sides in a bid to catch them out, a London court heard on Thursday.
In emails submitted to the phone hacking trial of journalists at Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World tabloid, its royal reporter said he had learnt that a memo had been issued to all officers telling them to "keep their sticky fingers out".
To laughter in the court, judge John Saunders told the jury that these were "unfounded allegations".
"Queen furious about police stealing bowls of nuts and nibbles left out for her in the BP (Buckingham Palace) Queen's corridors," an email from royal reporter Clive Goodman to then editor Andy Coulson said.
It said staff had put out a selection of nuts including cashews, almonds and Bombay mix around the palace for the 87-year-old queen.
"Problem is that police on patrol eat the lot. Queen so narked (annoyed) she has started marking the bowls to see where the levels dipped," it said.
The emails were read out to the long-running phone hacking trial, where eight people including former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are facing charges related to the interception of voicemails.
The eight all deny the charges. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)