Photo Credit: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images
The prank call that happened earlier this week at King Edward VII Hospital that led to Kate Middleton's confidential information being revealed has suddenly turned incredibly tragic. The nurse who initially answered the call and transferred the line to Middleton's hospital room has been found dead of an apparent suicide.
Law enforcement officials found the woman near the hospital at about 9:30 a.m. She was pronounced dead on the scene, and her death is being treated as a suicide. Sky News has identified her as Jacintha Saldanha, and says she worked at the hospital for four years.
Two Australian deejays called the hospital on Wednesday and pretended to be the queen, asking to be transferred to Middleton's room. Saldanha did that, and the nurse who answered the call "nervously" gave the "queen" an update on the Duchess of Cambridge's condition, TMZ reports. The call was broadcast all over the world, and you can listen to it below.
It's fairly obvious in retrospect that the call was fake, considering we doubt Queen Elizabeth would actually refer to Middleton's morning sickness as a "little tummy bug" and the whole barking "Corgis" moment is a dead give away. Still, the radio station issued a statement not long after the prank aired.
"We were very surprised that our call was put through," the statement read. "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."
According to the station's Facebook page, the two deejays have been taken off the air until further notice "out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."
On Friday, a St. James's Palace spokesman released a statement: "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."