Nurse who answered princess prank call found dead

Posted at 10:34 AM, Dec 07, 2012

(WTVR) – The London nurse who answered the prank phone call made to the hospital where Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was being treated has been found dead, the hospital confirmed Friday.

The nurse “was recently the victim of a hoax call,” King Edward VII Hospital said in a media statement.

The nurse who died was the person who first took the hoax call and transferred it through to Catherine’s ward, the hospital said. The hospital named her as Jacintha Saldanha and said she had worked at the hospital for more than four years as an “excellent nurse,” who was well respected by co-workers.

Earlier this week, two Australian radio DJs made a prank call to the hospital where Prince William’s pregnant wife, Catherine, was staying with acute morning sickness earlier this week. The DJs claimed to be Queen Elizabeth II and her son, Prince Charles.

The DJs, from Sydney’s 2Day FM station, succeeded in getting through to Kate’s private nurse at King Edward VII Hospital and had a brief conversation that included some details of her condition, according to audio of the call posted online.

The DJs have since apologized for the prank call, saying it “was done with light-hearted intentions.” DJs at the station continued to tweet about the call on Thursday and earlier Friday, promising “more on the #royalprank.”

Talking about the call Thursday, one DJ said: “They were the world’s worst accents ever. We were sure 100 people at least before us would’ve tried the same thing. … We were expecting to be hung up on — we didn’t even know what to say when we got through.”

A St. James’s Palace spokesman said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha.

“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.”

(The BBC and CNN wire contributed to this report.)