Kate shocked at death of nurse who put through prank call
King Edward VII hospital had not disciplined Jacintha Saldanha - and nor had the royal family complained
THE DUKE and Duchess of Cambridge have issued a statement expressing their shock at the news that the nurse who put through a prank call from Australia while the duchess was in hospital this week has been found dead today in a suspected suicide.
"Their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time," the statement said.
Saldanha, a 46-year-old married mother of two, was found at an address nearby the hospital at 9.30am today. The Daily Mail reports that the circumstances in which she was found appeared to indicate that she had killed herself.
The private hospital, which stressed that Saldanha had not been disciplined over the affair, and that the royal family had not complained about her, said it was announcing the nurse's death with "very deep sadness".
A statement read: "Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and well respected and popular with all her colleagues."
The Royal Correspondent of the BBC Nicholas Witchell said it had been suggested to him that Saldanha had felt "very lonely and confused" as a result of being duped.
It was at 5.30am on Wednesday that Jacintha answered the hoax call from two people purporting to be the Queen and Prince Charles and wanting an update on the condition of the pregnant duchess, in hospital for severe morning sickness. Saldanha transferred the call to another nurse who gave the callers an update on the duchess's condition.
It quickly transpired that the callers were in fact two Australian DJs from the commercial station 2DayFM, Mel Greig and Michael Christian.
They have since boasted that it was "the easiest prank call ever made" and that their mock British accents were "terrible".
At the time of posting, the station's website was still advertising the prank call on its website with the line "Must see!" However, The Times reports that both DJs deleted their Twitter accounts today after they were deluged with abusive comments about the affair. ·