Duchess Kate’s Hospital Nurse in Suspected Suicide over Prank Call

The nurse who put through a prank call to Kate Middleton's hospital ward on Tuesday morning has died of a suspected suicide, reports the Daily Telegraph.

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Olivia Harris / Reuters

A private ambulance is loaded with a body at the block of flats where the nurse Jacintha Saldanha lived near the King Edward VII Hospital in central London on Dec. 7, 2012.

The nurse who put through a prank call to Kate Middleton’s hospital ward on Tuesday morning has died of a suspected suicide, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The woman, Jacintha Saldanha, was found unconscious this morning just yards from the King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes in central London, where the Duchess spent three days being treated for acute morning sickness. A call to an ambulance was placed at 9:35 am, but the married mother of two died on the scene despite paramedics’ attempts to revive her.

(AUDIO: Australian DJs Make Prank Phone Call to Kate’s Hospital)

The hospital confirmed that Saldanha was the “victim of a hoax call to the hospital” placed by two Australian DJ s posing as the Queen and her son Prince Charles. Saldanha, a nurse who was manning the reception desk at 5:30am, put the call straight through to the Duchess of Cambridge’s private nurse, who openly discussed the Duchess’ condition. A recording of the call by Sydney presenters Mel Grieg and Michael Christian was later broadcast on the radio program 2Day FM. The recording, which quickly went viral online, was a major embarrassment for the hospital, which has treated many members of the royal family.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a statement on Friday afternoon saying they were “deeply saddened” by the news of Saldanha’s death: “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.” A palace spokesperson told the BBC that no complaints had been lodged about the prank with the hospital.

(POLL: What Should Kate and William’s Child Be Named?)

A hospital spokesman said Saldanha had worked at the hospital for over four years, and had not been reprimanded for the incident. “She was an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues.”

The DJs behind the prank apologized for it on Wednesday, saying, “We were very surprised that our call was put through, we thought we’d be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents. We’re very sorry if we’ve caused any issues and we’re glad to hear that Kate is doing well.”

They continued to promote the stunt, however, with a Tweet posted by Michael Christian on Friday reading: “If you’d said to me “MC this week wll finish with you making international headlines”, I would have punched you in the face. #RoyalPrank” That Tweet now appears to have been deleted, as has Mel Grieg’s Twitter account. The website for 2Day FM appears to be down. Meanwhile, Twitter has exploded with outrage directed at the radio hosts, reports Hollywood Life.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is not yet 12 weeks pregnant, was admitted to the hospital on Monday for treatment of severe morning sickness and was discharged on Thursday morning. The hoax call occurred early on Tuesday morning. Saldanha answered the call, saying: “Hello, good morning, King Edward VII Hospital.” Grieg, posing as the Queen, said: “Oh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter.” Saldanha replied, “Oh yes, just hold on ma’am,” and transferred the call.

In a statement today, Scotland Yard said:

“Police were called at approximately 9:25am on Friday, December 7, to a report of a woman found unconscious at an address in Weymouth Street, W1. The London Ambulance service attended and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances of the incident…The death is being treated as unexplained.”

MORE: Kate’s Baby: As the World Fusses, a London Neighborhood Shrugs

48 comments
JayBray
JayBray

that nurse was probably hounded by all the staff at the hospital, probably told that they would lose the buisness of having the royal family treated there and told she was an embaressment.  no one would just commit suicide over a stupid prank .. and the old hagged of a queen and royal family that do nothing probably are thinking silently ... well serves her right for being so gullible, esp that old witch of a queen. 

canadagal123
canadagal123

Cannot understand especially after hearing the recording .. that ANYONE would make such a big deal out of this. I am not sure WHY the nurse would commit suicide, unless the hospital or those around her made her feel bad about the call. From what I understood the first female nurse who answered the call, was the one who killed herselg. NOT the nurse who spoke with the DJs and gave them more info. Either way, this has been blown way out of proportion. And sadly the first nurse was very sensitive and not given counselling to understand everything is okay and it was not a horrible thing. It was just fun. OMG!!!

Beirut27
Beirut27

Whether the patient was Jane Doe or the Duchess of Cambridge is neither here nor there., everybody deserves respect and confidentiality is a key word in the health industry -because it *is* and industry-. I, John Doe, would have sued their syringes off if they had done the same to me.

What I wanted to point out is the fact that putting a phone call through to a ward was normal procedure but the ward nurse should have answered very politely and respectfully if she truly thought the Queen was phoning her -what a prize dumbass !- that she wasn't allowed to give information over the phone, so, so sorry...

SPNNlogic
SPNNlogic

This is the place of British Intelligence? MI6, right? How is it that the call went through at all with out first clearing an agents ear?

lond31980
lond31980

It isnt the fault of a prank that this woman chose to end her life. Everyone reading this has experienced much worse trauma in their life and they didnt kill themselves. She obviousley was already sick.

eford45
eford45

A lot of you can't read it states clearly by an hospital official that the nurse was not reprimanded for the incident but I can't understand why would this nurse take her own life over something that was clearly an mistake, plus she didn't provide too much personal information other than  Kate was doing fine and wasn't throwing up. If it's that easy to get personal protected information from a patient in a hospital in Britain perhaps they should have more stricter laws to avoid something like this from ever happening again. 

ALB
ALB

The disk jockeys should be tried for murder - plain and simple.

Glendon
Glendon

What the hell were the IDIOTIC, MINDLESS PRODUCERS of the segment on 2DayFM - not to mention their 'puppet' DJ's Mel Grieg and Michael Christian - thinking?? Yep, it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, apparently, and for what? Pathetic radio ratings. Hindsight is a wonderful thing (I'm sure that everyone involved realises that now...). However, the lack of foresight, and the reasonable foreseeability that their phone call, if answered - as it was - would have resulted in the severe reprimand/and/or sacking of the two nurses involved - is too stupid to comprehend. Surely, prior to the phone call being transferred to the Duchess of Cambridge's 'private nurse', Mel and Michael should either have identified their call as a joke, or identified themselves. Were they so caught up in the joke, that they forgot the repercussions for these two nurses?   Nonetheless, they kept going with the joke when it wasn't warranted, ultimately at the expense of the life of Jacintha Saldanha, leaving behind her husband and two children. Perhaps when the next time someone says to you, "Ooh, wouldn't it be funny if...", please think twice. 

PamelaQ
PamelaQ

No one wanted anyone to take their own life. Have any of You ever played a joke on someone and they didn't find it funny?...it's an awful shame she took her own life. All the DJs did was a practical joke, the likes of which we see all the time -Mark & Brian (just an example) ringing people. The DJs probably didn't believe for a moment that they would get through and clearly didn't mean any harm. They must be devastated. The woman in question only transferred a call - and if we were all faced with the same situation we would ALL do the same - no harm was done, she wasn't in trouble with her bosses or the royals or anyone. Assuming it was a suicide then there must have been more deep seated issues as otherwise it simply just does not make sense. To accuse the DJs of killing her is utterly rediculous and quite frankly naive

Willow
Willow

If you listen to the phone call ,the nurse really did not give out that much information. She said something" Kate is resting and not throwing up". Big deal. The royals need to learn to take a lighthearted joke and not take themselves so seriously. The hospital reprimanded the nurse over something that wasn't her fault. The British are so uptight and hold their royal family as gods.

Willow
Willow

The nurse really didn't even say anything big, she just said "oh Kate is resting and not throwing up". Big deal. The hospital reprimanded the nurse and she killed herself. It's really the Palace's fault; they take themselves too seriously, they could have let the joke go and the hospital should have implemented new rules for the future incidents instead of reprimanding a good hearted nurse.

Dachman
Dachman

These DJ's were very excited and proud to have gotten through like that and even stated as much about being in international news.

With that said this would not be classified as jsut your run of the mill hoax. This is not making dinner reservations for 20 and not showing up.

This is the future queen and future heir to the throne, and they didnt really care about the fall out just getting a laugh is all that mattered to them.

JessicaBradford
JessicaBradford

Did no one learn from the death of Diana not to harass and stalk the royal family. Do we REALLY want Prince William to lose his wife the way he lost his mother, by the blood hungry news media? Have some compassion and common sense. They should lose their jobs and be blacklisted from the radio for this, that was disrespectful, dishonorable and straight up rude of them to do in the first place.

ttygir
ttygir

Just so sad that caring, honest contributing members of the community are victims of mindless, parasitic, virulent trolls who "amuse" themselves at the expense of other people. That goes double for those that are continuing to spew their poison even after Jacintha has gone ......

ThomasCarroll
ThomasCarroll

who kills themselves over a prank call?

that's pretty stupid

she must have had other stuff under the surface and this was the thing that pushed her over the edge

i feel sorry for the radio dudes in all honesty. they didn't kill anyone

HonestGirl
HonestGirl

No one deserves death. She was a victim of a prank. Maybe her colleagues made her feel isolated too? Maybe she was due a disciplinary and believed this was the end if her career? God bless her soul . The DJ's are the cause of this and every action has a consequence. What they were doing is fraud. They have caused this poor lady's death. How desperate must she have been to take her life. Her kids have lost their mother. Husband his wife. And it just carries on for the rest...

Potemkin
Potemkin

Giving out personal patient information without consent is grounds for being fired, sued or arrested; hospitals make all staff sign confidentiality agreements every year, and they prosecute staff the violate the rules.  The staffers invovled were looking at the end of their hospital careers because they were scammed.  Legally no hospital will be able to get insurance to cover having them, so those nurses' careers are over.  The DJ's got the private ward number and gave phony information to trick the staff into illegally releasing private information, but the staff members are the ones who have to be dismissed for it because the hospitals insurance carriers would never allow them to keep working there.  Once a hospital staff member is fired for such huge gaffe then they will not be able to get a job at any other hospital.  If you spent years paying for nursing school then all of that work is wasted, because no hospital could legally risk hiring you.  It's no wonder the poor nurse was distraught, the DJ's ruined those nurses careers just for a laugh.  Stealing patient information is illegal, the DJ's should face arrest but it is the hospital staff that will suffer for years to come.

ScallywagNYC
ScallywagNYC

Ultimately one has to wonder about the consequences of the media straying too far from decorum and courteous righteous behavior in causing distress and peril to innocent victims. Maybe it was all in good jest and maybe the outlet couldn’t resist the jibe and raising its ratings but one has to wonder should it now be forced to accept responsibility for their actions? Or to put it another way, shouldn’t the outlet at least wondered about the affront, and potential damage it risked causing with this simple ‘prank?’ Which raises another question, how and what exactly has the media landscape morphed into these days….?http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/12/kate-middleton-nurse-suicide-leads-to-aussie-djs-suspended/

JasonXu
JasonXu

Why are people acting that the DJs had the intention to kill, or knew that the consequences of a prank call would include death? All the proposed penalties you pray to happen to the DJs seem to suggest this.the DJs should not be held entirely liable for the suicide of the nurse because1. The DJs had no intention to kill2. Death is not on the list of consequence of a hoax call. The DJs may realise that something bad might happen, maybe the nurse being scolded, but they should not be held liable if they did not realise that a consequence of such extremities would result in a hoax call.In the context of Australian law, this would therefore be a case of manslaughter and criminal negligence, but the Crown would have a very very difficult time proving such charges against the DJs as they did not kill the nurse (because it was a suicide), a prank call should not be the causation of death, and the death was not the result of provocation.If the DJs were to be sentenced as a result, this case would surely set such a high precedent for future cases involving hoax calls and suicides, that sh*t would hit the fan.someone who prank called shouldn't be liable for manslaughter.

Beirut27
Beirut27

It doesn't make sense... the nurse who should  feel pretty uncomfortable must be the one who gave details about the duchess of cambridge's condition. If the prank is the cause of a suicide then the pranksters are murderers.

j.villain1
j.villain1

I had a friend that made a stupid rather than criminal mistake sort of like this, though obviously not on this scale. Under the immense scrutiny of the media  he committed suicide.  We don't know for sure what happened here but the immense pressure the media can put on people really does need to be considered when people with the power of the media act. Saying no one should blame the DJs is just plain wrong.

JoeyG80
JoeyG80

Uhh  The Royal Family had her knocked off... obviously.. Just like Princess Di... The Queen is an evil woman.

JackTaylor
JackTaylor

no need to get mad at the DJs, the hospital is stupid for putting the call through. Anyone can make prank calls. Hospitals should never give out information over the phone, no matter who's calling, that's been my experience with hospitals in america. 

MiikeHunt
MiikeHunt

Blatantly got bumped off, don't mess with the royals.

DebraDavisHalderman
DebraDavisHalderman

How sad for this lady's family! Once again, some irresponsible member of the media causes loss of life! These people tarnish the image of media in general. They should be held accountable for their actions!

Brooke138
Brooke138

Before I totally judge someone... I'd like to hear if she had any other issues or if this was solely the cause. I will say that that call should never have made it onto the radio.  I could possibly see them playing it up until the point they made it to the private nurse; but after that, it's just a total invasion of privacy - no matter who the patient is.  

AngelaWeddleSmith
AngelaWeddleSmith

This is so sad.  Not a reason to commit suicide over.  So sad for the family of this nurse.  God bless her soul,  she just made a mistake....shes human just like the rest of us.

lacrossestar83
lacrossestar83

Media obsession over the Royal Family turns deadly.  This is not a repeat from 1997

gelo
gelo

@Willow You're right - but remember that Charles made a joke of it as well which would indicate that the Royals weren't in THAT much of a tizz about it - and rightly soQuestions need to be asked a) what in the unfortunate lady caused this and in the light of that should she have been working in that environmentb) what, if anything, did the hospital's response and culture contribute towards itc) what in the wider culture contributed towards it ?I mean, for goodness sake, what exactly was there in the situation to be distraught enough to take your own life over? - especially when compared to some of the stress that British media put their Royals under ?Which is worse? That prank or publishing topless photos ?

Dachman
Dachman

You feel sorry for the "radio dudes" really?

How about her husband and kids?

ThomasCarroll
ThomasCarroll

what killed her was probably the embarrassment and the ridicule of her own colleagues and country.

not the dj's

as far as she was concerned, she thought it was a legit call...it was only until after that she found out that it wasn't

PamelaQ
PamelaQ

@_DF_Jenny sounds like you are a B%@%$!!! Looking for attention, if you would do us all a favor & kill that Potty mouth of your!

Djneilan
Djneilan

@_DF_Jenny You are a truly disgusting idiot. Her family and friends will be devastated by this and your comment is vile.

Seriously
Seriously

Seriously? All the woman did was 'transferred the call' to the private nurse... well, hope you never make any 'honest mistakes'...

Dachman
Dachman

Wow looks like you know it all...you did read that they were not going to discipline her at all right?

Dachman
Dachman

No they did not kill her but they did without regard for anyone cause great distress.

Dont act like this was a prank call to a pizza shop, this was getting medical info on the future queen of England carrying the future heir to the throne.

superbike5
superbike5

@MiikeHunt Your obviously Australian! Your country has never had any respect for Britain or the Royal Family

khoca
khoca

lacrossestar83, What is this Media Obsession you're talking about?  Are you completely oblivious to celebrities?   Any and all famous person/people will be in the news, on TV, in the papers.  The media take pictures of famous people, interviews them, follows them when they leave stores, etc.   It's part of being famous, and it happens to every famous person.  So you can't say the media is "obsessed" with the Royal Family.  

ctj
ctj

She never would have endured the embarassment or ridicule had it not been for the DJ's now deadly hoax. Have some respect! You have no idea what she went through. We are talking about the furture Queen of England...had YOU transferred that call, what do you think your life would be like? Think about it...

TeenBo
TeenBo

@superbike5 @MiikeHunt   Your use of "Your" makes me think you don't respect the English language enough to be opining with it in the public sphere. 

lacrossestar83
lacrossestar83

@khoca You just disagreed with my point, proved my point, and then dismissed my point all in one comment.  Kudos