Intimate voicemail left by Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2006 were played in a British court on Thursday, reflecting the scale of the phone hacking at the now defunct News of the World (NoW) tabloid. As part of the ongoing trial of leading figures of the tabloid, the jury played the messages of Prince William that were accessed by a private investigator on behalf of the tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

In one message, Prince William used the pet name “babykins” and in another told her he had almost been shot with blanks during his officer training at Sandhurst.

This is the first time the jury has heard that the Duchess of Cambridge’s phone had been hacked.

Prince William was undergoing officer training at Sandhurst in 2006 when he said he “nearly got shot” with blank rounds during a training exercise in Aldershot.

Former NoW editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are on trial with the then royal editor Clive Goodman and four others who are accused of a number of offences, which they all deny, including conspiracy to illegally intercept voicemails.

Prince Williams said in one message; “Hi baby. Um, sorry, I’ve just got back in off my night navigation exercise. I’ve been running around the woods of Aldershot chasing shadows and getting horribly lost, and I walked into some other regiment’s ambush, which was slightly embarrassing because I nearly got shot. Not by live rounds but by blank rounds, which would have been very embarrassing, though.”