On Monday, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, announced that she was pregnant with an heir to the British throne—and that she was going to be in the hospital for a severe case of morning sickness. So naturally it was a perfect opportunity for a pair of Australian radio DJs to prank call the hospital as the Queen and Prince Charles, asking for information on her condition. Now, the first nurse who fell for the ruse and transferred the DJs to the Duchess's attending nurse has died, apparently from suicide.
The nurse, identified as Jacintha Saldanha, had answered the phone because no receptionist was on duty. She transferred the call to Middleton's nurse, who said that the 30-year-old was doing fine. The incident was extremely "embarrassing" for King Edward VII Hospital, which Sky News says is the "medical institution of choice for the Royal Family." Saldanha, the mother of two, was found unconscious at an address near the hospital and was later pronounced dead.
The hospital said, "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 over her colleagues. 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," while the Royal Palace said, "Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."
Yesterday, the Australian radio station behind the prank apologized, "2Day FM sincerely apologises for any inconvenience cause(d) by the enquiry to Kate's hospital. The radio segment was done with the best intentions and we wish Kate and her family all the best."
The Duchess of Cambridge was released from the hospital yesterday; it's believed she's eight weeks pregnant.