Colleague unwittingly disclosed details of the Duchess’ condition

A nurse who took a hoax call from two Australian DJs about the condition of Kate William, the Duchess of Cambridge, while she was being treated at King Edward VII Hospital here, was on Friday found dead in her house in a suspected suicide.

Jacintha Saldhana (46), thought to be of Indian origin, though neither the police nor the hospital would confirm it, was on reception duty when she answered the prank call at 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday. She transferred the call to another nurse. The latter unwittingly disclosed the details of the Duchess’ condition — she was being treated for pregnancy-related sickness — to the DJs pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

Ms. Saldhana’s role in the incident, which made headlines around the world, was telling the caller, “Oh yes, just hold on ma’am.”

Ms. Saldhana was married with two children. Her family has been informed. Media reports said she felt “very lonely and confused” after the incident. A former neighbour of Ms Saldanha described her as a "nice,lovely lady''.

The woman said she lived next door to Ms Saldanha, her two sons and partner, Benedict "Ben" Barboza, in Bristol several years ago.

"What a terrible tragedy – just before Christmas as well," she said. "Those two young boys – they'll be heartbroken.

A spokesman for the royal family said: “At no point did the Palace complain to the hospital about the incident.’’

The Duke and Duchess said they “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.”

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