Buckingham Palace employee pleads guilty to stealing medals and photos from Queen's London residence

Some of the stolen goods were worth between £10,000 and £100,000

Queen
(Image credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images/Pool)

A Buckingham Palace employee has pleaded guilty to stealing photos and medals from the Queen's official London residence, it was revealed at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday.


Adamo Canto – who worked as a catering assistant since 2015 – admitted three counts of theft between 11 November 2019 and 7 August 2020.

A "significant quantity" of stolen items were recovered by police from his quarters in the Royal Mews at the palace. Among the stolen items were official signed photographs of the Duke of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

A £1,500 royal state banquet photo album of President Donald Trump's UK visit was the most expensive item he stole.

Queen and Vice Admiral Master Tony Johnstone-Burt

(Image credit: Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)

The court was told how Mr Canto had taken 77 items from the palace's shop, while other items were swiped from staff lockers, the linen room, the Royal Collection ticket office, the Queen's Gallery shop and the Duke of York's storeroom.

Prosecutor Simon Maughan said some of the goods, worth between £10,000 and £100,000, were listed for sale on eBay, and that Mr Canto only made £7,741 from the sale of 37 items, which were advertised on the auction site for "well under" their true value.

Mr Canto also admitted taking a Companion of Bath medal, which belongs to Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, the Master of the Household, which he sold for £350 on the auction site.

In a statement, Vice Admiral Master Tony Johnstone-Burt said he first realised the medal was missing because he needed to wear it for the Queen's Trooping the Colour and was later told by staff that stolen items were for sale online.

"I discovered my Companion of Bath medal and box for sale. It was up for sale for £500. However, it had been sold for £350," Vice Admiral Johnstone-Burt said in a statement read in court.

District Judge Alexander Jacobs released Canto on conditional bail and sent the case to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing at a later date, warning Canto he faces a possible jail sentence.

Jenni McKnight

Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist and a regular contributor to woman&home, having previously worked as Acting Senior Content Editor of our former sister site, CelebsNow. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodToKnow, the Daily Mirror and Yahoo!