Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Former Royal Harpist in court on burglary charge

A former Royal Harpist is due to stand trial in October accused of burgling four houses, a court has heard.

Jemima Phillips (27), the only musician to play at the wedding reception of Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall, was at Gloucester Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.

Ms Phillips, who also performed at the wedding of Autumn Kelly and the Queen's eldest grandchild Peter Phillips, was granted bail to answer the allegations on September 10.

If she pleads not guilty the trial will take place on October 19.

Ms Phillips of Lydney, in the Forest of Dean, and co-defendant William Davies (40) from Cheltenham had originally faced three burglary charges.

But now a fourth had been added to the charge sheet following the discovery of a guitar, prosecutor Derek Ryder told the court.

Ms Phillips is also accused of committing fraud by false representation. All the raids were allegedly carried out in May.

The Royal College of Music graduate was appointed official harpist to the Prince of Wales in 2004 and featured in the first concert to be recorded in the Buckingham Palace ballroom.

In 2007 Claire Jones (22) from Pembrokeshire took over the Royal Harpist role which had lapsed from 1911 until the prince revived it. Three people have held the post in its present incarnation.

Ms Phillips has performed at Balmoral Castle and Clarence House as well as playing at a reception hosted by the Queen for the 2012 Olympic bid.

She continues to teach and play the instrument professionally and is a former semi-finalist in the BBC's young musician of the year competition. Davies was remanded in custody.

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