Kate Middleton

Nurse at Catherine's hospital duped by 2Day FM hoax in apparent suicide

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 May, 2015, 4:46pm

A nurse who was duped by a hoax call from an Australian radio station at the hospital that treated Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine was found dead in a suspected suicide yesterday.

British police confirmed that they were investigating the "unexplained death" of a woman whose body was discovered at a property near King Edward VII's Hospital in central London.

The hospital, which paid tribute to "a first-class nurse", named the woman as Jacintha Saldanha.

"It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff," it said. "Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII's Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse, and well respected and popular.

"We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time."

In what radio station 2Day FM in Sydney billed as the "biggest royal prank ever", two of its presenters called the hospital on Monday pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, William's father. They asked to speak to the Duchess of Cambridge and a receptionist put them through to a nurse, who gave the presenters private details of the former Kate Middleton's severe morning sickness.

A source in the emergency services said that while the nurse's death was being treated as unexplained, it was not thought to be suspicious.

Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian said sorry for the call, even as the station was milking the publicity for it.

The duchess was admitted to hospital on Monday with acute morning sickness and left on Thursday, saying she was feeling much better. Her admission to hospital was the first the world knew of her pregnancy. It will be the couple's first child, who will be third in line to the British throne after Charles and William.