Former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman has effectively admitted in court for the first time that he hacked the phones of Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton.
Goodman, who returned to the witness box after weeks of ill health, was accused of being more heavily involved in phone-hacking with private detective Glenn Mulcaire in 2005 and 2006 than was previously heard.
In 2006, Goodman and Mulcaire pleaded guilty to hacking phones in relation to royal aides but, jurors were told, their activities went much further.
The then Ms Middleton's phone was hacked 155 times, Prince William's 35 times and Prince Harry's nine times, the Old Bailey trial heard.
Kate was even hacked on Christmas Day 2005, jurors heard.
The details emerged as Goodman was being cross examined by ex-NotW editor Andy Coulson's lawyer Timothy Langdale QC.
He asked: "I'm going to suggest you had direct contact with Glenn Mulcaire significantly before the time you have told us – that you yourself had been hacking on a much wider scale than you have told this court about."
Goodman said he had not been asked a direct question.
When he was questioned about the three hacked royal aides, the witness said: "I'm not on trial for hacking. I completely agree I hacked these people's phones. They were never put to me individually by anyone in 2006/2007. I am happy to give a full account of every single one of these."
Langdale went on: "Are you telling us you have forgotten that you hacked Kate Middleton 155 times, Prince William 35 times, Prince Harry nine times and all the others. Had you forgotten that?"
He replied: "No, I did not recall the specifics. The CPS have made it clear there are no other hacking charges. I have not forgotten. I did not recall specifics."
Langdale said it was "simply not true" and he could not have forgotten hacking Kate Middleton 155 times.
He replied: "Yes, I'm sure I did," adding: "There has been no intention to deceive you or anybody else in relation to phone-hacking."
Referring to the 2006 arrest, Langdale said: "It's the one thing you must have been more worried about than anything else – that it would become clear you yourself had been hacking members of the royal family."
Goodman replied: "I was terrified of the whole thing. I was mortified."
Langdale said Kate Middleton, who was to become the Duchess of Cambridge, was first hacked on 21 October 2005.
He asked the witness why she had been targeted and if he had tasked Mulcaire to do it.
He replied: "She was a figure of increasing importance around the royal family. There were discussions about her and Prince William marrying, moving in, settling down. She started to receive semi royal status and things were moving on."
Langdale said: "You are telling us Glenn Mulcaire hacked her without any instruction from you? Did you task him to do that?"
He replied: "I do not remember tasking him to do that. It's possible but I do not recall.
"I have been as open and honest about hacking as I can be but nobody has asked me any questions about this before."
Langdale said: "You knew perfectly well you hacked Prince Harry and Prince William didn't you?"
Goodman replied: "Nobody asked me."
He added that often he and Mulcaire hacked the same messages.
Goodman, of Addlestone, Surrey, denies two counts of conspiring with Coulson and others to commit misconduct in public office.
Coulson is also on trial for conspiring to hack phones with former NotW editor Rebekah Brooks, managing editor Stuart Kuttner and others.
The court has heard Goodman went to Coulson in October 2005 to approve his Alexander Project – an extra £500 a week deal with Mulcaire to hack three royal aides close to the young princes.
Goodman told the court that he had to tell Coulson that Mulcaire was the source of the project because he was so important to the paper and had a hand in "virtually every story".
He said: "Glenn Mulcaire was such a valuable resource for the paper I had to tell him (Coulson), so I did."
Helen Asprey, one of the three aides earmarked for Mulcaire to hack under the terms of the project, had been hacked by Goodman before, the court heard.
Langdale said: "Why didn't you tell him one of the three was being hacked by you already?"
Goodman replied: "I had to tell Andy exactly what was going on so he could make a judgment call."
Alexander Project was just "formalising" an existing arrangement, he told the court.
Earlier, Mr Justice Saunders addressed the jury, saying: "As you know we have been waiting for Mr Goodman to be fit enough to continue to complete his evidence. We have had to wait because he has been ill."
He summarised Goodman's evidence so far for the jury before Langdale began his questioning.
All seven defendants in the trial deny the charges against them.
The case was adjourned until 10am tomorrow.