But Renato Rinino, 35, waited until he could no longer be prosecuted, under an Italian law which puts a time limit on bringing charges, before he confessed.
The reported confession comes more than three years after the Prince's apartment in St James's Palace was burgled. He is said to have claimed to have entered into negotiations with the British Embassy in Rome to return some of the stolen goods. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "The Prince of Wales has been informed of the reports." A Scotland Yard spokeswoman confirmed that they had been cooperating with Italian police about the burglary at St James's Palace - but said they had no knowledge of anything other than jewellery being stolen.Reuse content