Nurse Involved in Kate Hoax Call Dies

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“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends,” hospital chief executive John Lofthouse said in a statement. “Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague.”

St. James’s Palace, the office of the duchess and her husband Prince William, also expressed sadness at the death, but insisted that it had not complained about the hoax.

“On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times,” the palace said in a statement.

Saldanha’s family asked for privacy in a statement issued through London police.

“We as a family are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Jacintha,” the statement said.

Australia’s media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, said it was looking into the hoax.

“These events are a tragedy for all involved, and I pass on my heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased nurse in London,” the authority’s chairman, Chris Chapman, said in a statement. “The ACMA does not propose to make any comments at this stage but will be engaging with the licensee, 2DayFM Sydney, around the facts and issues surrounding the prank call.”

During the hoax call, a woman using the often-mimicked voice of Britain’s monarch asked about the duchess’ health. She was told by the second nurse who took the call from Saldanha that the duchess, the former Kate Middleton, “hasn’t had any retching with me and she’s been sleeping on and off.”

The nurse went on to tell the radio personalities that the duchess had had an uneventful night, as a dog barking sound was heard in the background. The alleged queen and prince talk about traveling to the hospital to check in on the patient.

The hospital said it supported Saldanha in the aftermath of the call and that its phone protocols were under review.

The Australian station placed the recording of the conversation on its website, but later said it was sorry.

“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,” Greig and Christian said in a joint statement with the station at the time. “We’re very sorry if we’ve caused any issues and we’re glad to hear that Kate is doing well.”

Officials from St. James’s Palace have said the duchess is not yet 12 weeks pregnant. The child would be the first for her and Prince William.

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