UK & World News
Kate Prank Call: Hospital Slams Radio Station
The hospital where the nurse who was duped into helping reveal details about the Duchess of Cambridge's health worked has condemned the prank phone call as "truly appalling".
In a letter to the Australian radio station 2day FM's parent company, Lord Glenarthur, Chairman of King Edward VII's Hospital, said he wanted to "protest" against the "extremely foolish" gag.
His comments follow the apparent suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, 46, who was found dead on Friday.
She had taken the hoax call from the radio station on Tuesday morning and put it through to a nurse on the Duchess of Cambridge's ward, who divulged private information about her treatment.
Lord Glenarthur said Ms Saldanha's death was "tragic beyond words".
It comes as footage emerged of her grieving family members in her home country of India.
The letter to Southern Cross Austereo said the immediate consequence of the station's "premeditated and ill-considered actions" led to the "humiliation" of Ms Saldanha and another nurse.
"I appreciate that you cannot undo the damage which has been done but I would urge you to take steps to ensure that such an incident could never be repeated," it added.
A spokesman for the private London hospital said the letter was sent on Saturday.
Ms Saldanha's devastated family were being comforted by relatives and friends at their terraced home in Southmead, Bristol.
A statement said: "We as a family are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Jacintha."
A friend at the address said Ms Saldanha's partner Benedict Barboza, 49, and their teenage son and daughter, aged 14 and 16, were "very, very shocked and unhappy at the tragedy".
The devoted nurse and mother-of-two was pronounced dead at staff accommodation close to the hospital where the pregnant duchess was treated for a severe form of morning sickness.
News of her death led to a huge backlash against the two presenters, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles during the prank on their 2day FM show.
They have now been taken off the air while the Sydney-based station has been inundated with complaints.
Southern Cross Austereo said that, by mutual consent, the hosts would not be returning to their show until further notice.
The company's Chief Executive Rhys Holleran has stood by the two DJs and said they were shocked and devastated by news of Ms Saldanha's death.
He said: "This is a tragic event that could not have been reasonably foreseen and we're deeply saddened by it. I spoke to both presenters early this morning and it's fair to say they're completely shattered."
Mr Holleran said the pair had been offered counselling, adding: "These people aren't machines, they're human beings. We're all affected by this."
In a video of her relatives in India, her sister-in-law Celin D'Souza said: "I will really miss her a lot. She was a good-natured sister-in-law. I cannot forget her, she was so good."
Another sister-in law Cerolin D'Souza, added: "It would have been great if the Indian government had taken the initiative to help and do the necessary thing of getting back the body of our daughter. It is so sad. I am unsure as to what is in store."