The Nurse Involved In The ‘Kate Middleton Hospital Phone Prank’ Has Reportedly Committed Suicide


Ugh. This has to be the saddest thing I’ve heard in a very long time and it pains me to have to share it with all y’all. As you may know, Kate Middleton was recently hospitalized with acute morning sickness and had to spend a few days in the hospital recovering. While hospitalized, a pair of Australian “shock jock” DJs placed a prank call to King Edward VII Hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles inquiring about Kate’s health. The DJs were transfered by nurse named Jacintha Saldanha to one of Kate’s attending nurses and she spoke with them on air, beliving they were members of the Royal Family. This nurse didn’t divulge any real information but the hoax was an embarrassment for the hospital. This morning, Saldanha was found dead in her home … and suicide is suspected.

A nurse at a London hospital who took a hoax call about the Duchess of Cambridge has been found dead. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a statement they were “deeply saddened” by the death of the nurse, named as Jacintha Saldanha. King Edward VII hospital paid tribute to “a first class nurse” who was the “victim of a hoax call.” Details of the pregnant duchess’s medical condition were unwittingly revealed to two Australian DJs. The DJs, from Sydney radio station 2Day FM – which says it is preparing a statement – posed as the Queen and Prince Charles. The duchess had been admitted on Monday for acute morning sickness, and was discharged on Thursday. BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said he understood Mrs Saldanha was the person who answered the call from the Australian DJs and was not the nurse who discussed the duchess’s medical condition. Mrs Saldanha, a duty nurse, answered the telephone because it was 05:30 GMT in the morning and there was no receptionist on duty.

The BBC understands Mrs Saldanha had not been suspended or disciplined by the hospital.

The St James’s Palace statement said the duke and duchess “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 spokesman later added that “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.” In a statement outside the hospital, King Edward VII chief executive John Lofthouse said: “We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. “The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.” He added: “Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII’s Hospital for more than four years. “She was an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues.” Scotland Yard said officers were called at 09:35 GMT on Friday after reports of a woman found unconscious at an address in central London. They said the death is not being treated as suspicious.

This is absolutely HORRIBLE news! That a stupid joke would lead to someone’s death is unbelievable. I think the knee jerk reaction is to blame the DJs for their dumb prank but is the blame really theirs? How many of us have made prank phone calls? Blah. It’s just all so sad. We cannot know what really caused Ms. Saldanha to take her own life but I’m sure that the embarrassment of this prank played a big part. UGH! It’s just so sad to have the happy news of Kate’s pregnancy connected to this senseless death :( What do y’all think of this? Who, if anyone, is to blame?

UPDATE: The Australian DJs who orchestrated this prank, have not been fired but have been taken “off the air”:

[Just in] Australian radio show hosts who pranked hospital are off the air “until further notice” – @MaxFosterCNN / Important to note the Australian radio show hosts haven’t been fired, but media spokesman says they’re off the air, per @MaxFosterCNN / Sydney station where royal prank call originated says hosting duo off the air indefinitely following nurse’s suicide – @GordonRayner


  • gayana

    this just makes no sense… prank call that leads to a suicide?
    really weird, I dont see any relation whatsoever.

  • Megan

    I really really hope that they are being honest about the ‘support’ she was receiving in work after the phonecall because that was my worry when I first listened to the radip piece, that her job would be in risk. You could not pay me all the money in the world to be a royal or famous because I couldn’t bare if my pregnancy was surrounded by this much attention and leaded to these situations. I don’t blame the radio DJs but I worry for them now because I can imagine that the backlash will be severe.

  • adam

    This is horrible. Almost funny-horrible in the sense that it is so tragic, laughing may be the only possible response. On the “who is to blame” front, it isn’t the DJs. The prank was stupid and if you listen they clearly had horrible accents and weren’t making a real effort to deceive anyone. Even if they were, there is no possible way they could have anticipated this.

    If this woman did commit suicide 99% of the “blame” falls on her. The victim of an innocuous, sophomoric, hoax who was not, to my knowledge, being smeared by the press and public throughout the U.K. at all taking her own life over the simple act of transferring a call indicates that she had some serious mental health problems to begin with and she certainly had available outlets if she was dealing with anxiety — she is a nurse after all. And she is the one who made the decision to end her own life.

    I will say, though, that 1% of the blame may be on the British ethos surrounding the monarchy. Here, in the 21st century, the 3rd millennium, the U.K. still treats the monarchy as sacred in a profound way. You see the interviews with working and middle class people on the street crying with joy over Kate’s pregnancy. All the reverence paid to the queen. The tabloids will hack the phones of murder victims and delete the messages giving parents’ hope their child may be alive but won’t publish photos of Kate vacationing topless that every other tabloid in the world published. The sacred place the monarchy still has in the hearts of many Britons — perpetuated by British media and the monarchy itself — may bare a tiny, *TINY* fraction of the… not so much “blame” but causality here. While there is something tremendously romantic and special about the Monarchy, I’m not convinced it has a place in modern British society.

    • Laura

      The only reason there is a royal family is because of the revenue they bring, not because they are loved throughout the country, it is just very much a middle class thing to think they have any relevance. Its actually a running joke throughout the UK about how seriously America take the royal family and how caught up America have been in them. I have yet to meet a working class person in the UK who gives two shits about a family that have no idea how the other half live. This year i think it feels like people care more than they actually do because of everything happening in the UK , with the Olympics, the jubilee, there was something about golf too and then the pregnancy, its a hard time with the economy and i guess people are trying to look for a reason to be proud of the country.
      Like you said she hasn’t been vilified or ripped apart in the papers, and everyone knows the public just goes along with whatever the papers tell them to feel. I’m not saying there aren’t knobheads out there that have said nasty overreacting things about her, but thats because they are stupid internet trolls.
      Sorry part of that is a reply to you the rest is just a rant about the royal family in general!haha

  • ada_1601

    This is incredibly sad, unfortunately there is way to many factors that could have come to play. The nurse may have been from a culture where if you bring shame you are forced to end your own life, or any number of belief systems that require self-sacrifice for redemption. And I can understand the shame she felt especially where today’s world is so small, and there is so little privacy.

    I do however, think Adam is way off on saying the monarchy is to blame. I am a commonwealth citizen and have great respect for tradition, just because it is something that is not done where you are from, does not mean there is something inherently wrong with it.

    The US media treats overpaid actors and singers about the same as the UK media treats the royals. If it had been a nurse at the hospital where Beyonce had her baby, would people blame the media, the nurse or Beyonce.

    No one is to blame, and I think all we can do is wish the family of the nurse our condolences and hope nothing like this happens again.

  • Oscar in Miami Beach

    The DJs are responsable.They made this poor woman look silly and she probably thought her career was finished.Who would trust her ever again after her being so flatly open with information about a pacient and such an important pacient?.That is what she thought that her life was ruined in the career she had selected.The DJs were the ones that precipitated this outcome.No different as pushing somebody off a cliff.Shame to those heartless DJs.

    • swile71

      I agree with Oscar here. If the DJ’s hadn’t pulled such an idiotic stunt then the nurse would never have been put in this position. The DJ’s using such ridiculous accents is irrelevant. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Queen call to check in on Kate, who knows.

    • Kate

      The DJs made a stupid decision in that they took advantage of a Kate’s medical situation to get “entertainment” for their radio show. They should be blamed for that and for not hanging up when they got through to the nurse but their blame stops there. The hospital should have had a better system and staff training in place for high profile cases like this, their blame stops there. There is clearly more to what happened with the nurse than we know and saying that 2 people who made a prank phone call are wholly responsible for a death is far-fetched.

  • David

    Imagine the world laughing at you. Calling you stupid, dumb, making fun of you after that humiliating prank. The world was literally bulling her. You turn on your local TV new and the anchor are reporting this story and making these comment like who would fall for this. You read your local newspaper about the prank and how only a fool would fall for that. You go online and read what people say. Just imagine that for a second. How would you feel then? That is what the nurse had suffered in the last few days. I know I have been humiliated but being humiliated on a world level is just …..
    Those Dj’s should be fired and be sued!!

    • Lulu

      I agree David.. I would have been horrified, and humiliated beyond measure. :(

      I would never have taken my life, but we can’t judge her emotional state, and perhaps this was just the last straw. so very sad.

  • Dy

    She wasn’t the one who revealed personal information about Kate – all she did was take the call and pass it on to someone with the authority to talk about Kate’s condition. The onus fell on the other nurse to decide whether the callers were legit.

    Jacintha couldn’t have been held responsible in any way (apart from perhaps not being astute enough to see through the terrible accents). Although she may have been embarrassed by the events, which could have contributed to her decision to commit suicide, the hospital certainly wasn’t taking action against her and I doubt anyone did anything other than have a giggle at her.

    I feel sorry for Kate that this tragic event has to be connected with her pregnancy, and for the DJ’s who pulled a childish prank in the hopes of scoring a scoop. No one other than the nurse herself can be held accountable for her death.

  • KJ

    By this logic, any prank can be malicious and dangerous (i.e. popping out of a bush and scaring someone into a heart attack) It was just some bad luck on the part of the radio dj’s.
    Losing someone because of humiliation is tragic, but it’s more of a case of bad luck all around.

  • ClaireMichelle

    This is incredibly sad and my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the nurse. I can’t even imagine what they are going through. I’m so sad that this happened to this woman.

    I just wish the radio DJs had hung up once they were passed on to Kate’s nurse. I don’t think they are to blame here, but they should have been more respectful of someone in the hospital and the hospital staff itself. It rubs me the wrong way that the DJs have been bragging about this prank, and I’m sure they are regretting that now.

  • Megan

    I too am not seeing the connection between a prank call and a suicide. Obviously there was much more going on in her life. Maybe this was the straw that broke the camels back, but in all likelihood she would have committed suicide anyways. It’s still very sad, and I hate that anyone would ever feel like they would be better off dead. But I also feel bad for the radio DJ’s who were just doing a prank call like thousands of other radio stations do, and now are off the air

  • Heddah

    May God give to all beings responsible for the nurse’s death everything that they deserve. Multiplied by the number of atoms of her body.

  • Mae

    I live in Melbourne and this sort of prank calling is something many at the different local radio stations do every other day. They call someone up, have a good little troll and after getting some sort of a reaction, reveal they’ve just gotten punk’d. Its …funny… but shit just gets old. It was only a matter of time before something tragic happened. I’m not blaming the suicide of the nurse solely on these 2 radio hosts, but that stupid call sure had A LOT to do with it. When will these idiots learn? Funny is one thing but this kind of humour is just distasteful. The retribution they are/will be getting is not enough…they deserve everything.. and more.