William consoled nurse prank family

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Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The Duke of Cambridge wrote to the family of a nurse at a hospital treating his wife after the woman’s “unbelievably sad” death following a radio prank call.

The family of Jacintha Saldanha revealed the Duke of Cambridge’s handwritten note in their first interview since her inquest concluded several months ago, in which her husband Ben Barboza said he still could not forgive the Australian DJs who made the hoax call.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Barboza, 50, said: “I am just really angry, why did they do that? Just a matter of three or four seconds changed our whole life. They were making some kind of mockery saying, ‘OK we fooled them’.

“I can’t forgive the people who broadcast that.”

Indian-born Mrs Saldanha was found dead in nursing accommodation on December 7 2012, after DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian broadcast the call on Sydney’s 2Day FM on December 4. The coroner returned a suicide verdict.

Ms Greig posed as the Queen while the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness at the King Edward VII Hospital in London.

Ms Saldanha’s only role was to answer the phone to the DJs and, believing the call was from the Queen, put them through to a nurse who revealed details of Kate’s condition.

Her inquest heard she bore responsibility, despite the hospital’s support, and Mr Barboza told the paper he believed she felt humiliated by the episode.

“It was the humiliation she felt, and the guilt. I go over that in my mind, over and over. She didn’t want me to know, to share that humiliation,” he said.

In William’s note, dated New Year’s Day 2013, he spoke warmly of the care Kate had.

“It is unbelievably sad and we both extend to and your family our deepest condolences,” he wrote.

“We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha and have been thinking about her a lot recently. Many of the nurses spoke highly of her and I’m sure you know how great a nurse she was.

“Jacintha and her colleagues looked after us extremely well and I am just so sorry that someone who cared for others so much found themselves in such a desperate situation.”

Ms Greig has since apologised in public to the family and said she was “disgusted with herself”.

Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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