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Hospital: Nurse involved in Kate Middleton phone hoax call dies

  • FILE- In this Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince William stand next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in central London. Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting their first child, and the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital suffering from a severe form of morning sickness in the early stages of her pregnancy. King Edward VII hospital says a nurse involved in a prank telephone call to elicit information about the Duchess of Cambridge has died. The hospital said Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 that Jacintha Saldanha had been a victim of the call made by two Australian radio disc jockeys. They did not immediately say what role she played in the call. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

LONDON — The news that Prince William and the former Kate Middleton were expecting their first child — joyous news for a couple looking forward to starting a family — immediately turned bittersweet with the simultaneous announcement that the duchess was being hospitalized for acute morning sickness. Then there was an invasion of her privacy by two disc jockeys who impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles to gain information on her condition.

By Friday, the sadness merely deepened, with the news that the nurse who unwittingly took the hoax call had died.

The royal couple quickly issued a statement expressing their condolences over the death of Jacintha Saldanha, the 46-year-old mother of two duped by the Australian DJs, who had suddenly found herself at the vortex of a global incident. They stressed they had not complained about the hoax call, and indeed offered praise for the staff. The hospital, too, stressed that Saldanha had not been reprimanded.

And yet the week can only be described as tragic, with the happiness so tarnished by the latest developments.

Saldanha was found dead early Friday at apartments affiliated with King Edward VII hospital in central London, where she worked for four years.


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