Buckingham Palace staffer jailed over $17k royal theft

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·2-min read

A former Buckingham Palace staffer has been sentenced to jail after he was found guilty of stealing valuable items from the palace.

Adamo Canto was sentenced to eight months imprisonment on Monday after he used his position doing cleaning duties in the royal residence to steal a number of historic and valuable items.

Buckingham Palace was burgled by a former staffer
A former Buckingham Palace staffer has been jailed for stealing royal items. photo: Getty Images

Canto joined the royal staff as a catering assistant in 2015 after the coronavirus lockdown came into effect was moved to cleaning duties where he had the opportunity to lift the items he then tried to flog on eBay.

The 37-year-old pled guilty to pleaded guilty to three counts of theft between 11 November 2019 and 7 August 2020 at Westminster Magistrates' Court after Police discovered a ‘significant quantity’ of items at his residence at the Royal Mews, or equestrian stables, on palace grounds.

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Included in the haul was a royal state banquet photo album of President Donald Trump's visit to the UK and official signed photographs of the Duke of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge royal portrait stolen in Buckingham palace theft
An official portrait of Kate and William was among items stolen by Mr Canto. Photo: Getty Images
Image of Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaking to U.S President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump represents album stolen in Buckingham Palace burglary
An album of U.S President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump's visit to the UK was another item taken. Photo: Getty Images

77 items were taken from the palace shop, and others from staff lockers, the Duke of York's storeroom and the Queen's Gallery shop.

The items stolen ranged in value from AUD$17,000 - AUD$175,000 and were placed on sale by Mr Canto for well under their price value.

The staffer was said to have amassed a debt of AUD$14,000 that he intended to pay using the proceeds from the items, something the judge took into account in his ruling.

Royal items of value from Buckingham Palace were stolen by a former staffer. Photo: Getty Images
Royal items of value from Buckingham Palace were stolen by a former staffer. Photo: Getty Images

“You were in some financial difficulty and found that this was the way out,” Judge David Tomlinson said.

“I take into account that a sentence of imprisonment at this time will be particularly onerous to you and have adjusted it to reflect your unfamiliarity with the system.

“I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that these offences are so serious that only a sentence of immediate custody is justified.”

The thefts were reportedly discovered on Trooping the Colour 2020, when the Master of the Household, Vice Admiral Johnstone-Burt, noticed the medal he planned to wear for the Queen’s birthday celebrations was missing.

It comes after a sad start to 2021 for the Queen who this week lost her cousin Lady Mary Colman.

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