One of Duchess Kate’s nurses, Jacintha Saldanha, committed suicide yesterday after falling on the receiving end of a radio show’s prank call.
Scotland Yard officers responded around 9:35 am after they received reports of a woman found unconscious on Friday. Once they arrived the nurse was pronounced dead at the scene.
King Edward VII Hospital announced that Saldanha had been a victim of a prank call placed by two Australian radio DJs before the alleged suicide took place.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends,” said John Lofthouse, the hospital’s chief executive. “Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague.”
The palace’s spokesperson has also release a statement to announce that the Duke and Duchess have been greatly saddened by the tragedy.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn the death of Jacintha Saldanha,” the St. James’s Place spokesman 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.”
Police have identified the death as unexplained but not suspicious.
The two DJ’s from Australia’s 2Day radio station called the hospital early on Tuesday and pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and his father Prince Charles.
Michael Christian and Mel Greig admitted that they assumed their accents wouldn’t be impressive enough to get them transferred through.
“We thought we’d be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents,” the radio station said in a public apology. “We’re very sorry if we’ve caused any issues for Kate or the nurse. It was honestly meant as fun and hope the nurse and Kate are OK.”
For many people, the apology is too late and the prank just didn’t make any sense.
“You have probably cause a young nurse her job…” one person commented on the website before it was discovered that the nurse committed suicide. “Never mind that you violated a woman’s privacy. Never mind, it was all done for fun.”
Tribute pages for the nurse have popped up all over Facebook as users post words of strength and comfort for the young nurse’s family. Several users are even demanding that the radio station pays for their unfunny prank call and compensate the nurse’s family. Others have even requested that the station fires the two radio DJ’s.
Police are still looking into the matter.
The Duchess, on the other hand, was released from the hospital on Thursday with Prince William by her side.