Nurse death: Royal couple saddened

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII hospital in London, where she was treated for severe morning sickness

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII hospital in London, where she was treated for severe morning sickness

First published in National News © by

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are "deeply saddened" after a nurse who was duped by hoaxers in a call to the hospital treating pregnant Kate apparently took her own life.

Jacintha Saldanha was found an address near the King Edward VII's Hospital in London on Friday morning.

She had been the victim of two Australian radio DJs who impersonated the Queen and the Prince of Wales. The 46-year-old put them through to another nurse, who gave some details on Kate's condition as she was treated for severe morning sickness at the private hospital

In a statement St James's Palace 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 hospital said in a statement: "We can confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha. Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII's Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and a well-respected and popular member of staff with all her colleagues.

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

Hospital chief executive John Lofthouse said: "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much-loved and valued colleague."

Scotland Yard said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Sydney-based 2Day FM is continuing to promote its prank call on air during what is the early hours of Saturday morning in the Australian city. It called it "the prank call the world is talking about" before playing clips of news programmes reporting on the original call, in the middle of a dance music programme.

A St James's Palace spokesman said: "At no point did the Palace complain to the hospital about the incident. On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times."

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