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Nurse -Victim of Prank About Duchess Kate Middleton -Commits Suicide

12/15/2012 12:00:00 AM


The whole excitement started when it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant. The clock stopped ticking and all eyes looked to Britain for the sun to set and at night for the moon to turn dark. It was the latest talk around town, and ears were tuned to the radio, and eyes to the television screen for more royal news.


However, what was considered a joyous moment turned to disappointment, when every news station broadcast that the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton had been hospitalized at the King Edward VII Hospital, for treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum, (a medical terminology that a lot of people did not comprehend and would have to get clarification on), a severe form of morning sickness. Morning sickness is something that most pregnant woman have during their first trimester, which begs the question what is special about Kate Middleton's morning sickness?


Nevertheless, while the Duchess was being treated, two Australian DJ’s, Mel Greig, and Michael Christian, employed by 2DayFM, impersonated Queen Elizabeth 11 and her husband Prince Charles by telephoning the King Edward V11 Hospital in central London. They wanted to solicit information about the Duchess's wellbeing. The call was answered by Nurse Jacintha Saldanha who was working as a receptionist at the hospital; she then forwarded the call through to an unidentified colleague at Kate’s ward. Information about Kate Middleton was relayed to the impersonators, and this garnered worldwide attention, as many news outlets believed that medical confidential information was given out to unknown sources (imposters).

Subsequently, Nurse Jacintha Saldanha, 46 years of age, was found dead on December 7, 2012 in her nurse’s accommodation. According to the Daily Mail, she was found hanging and left three notes. This leaves many people wondering, what happened? One can only speculate that Jacintha felt humiliated and angry. She might have felt  so upset about the mistake that was made; that she did not want to face her co-workers and family. The media, especially, with their incessant obsession with the Duchess's pregnancy, and the scrutiny and ridicule involved in the royal hoax debacle, might have caused Jacintha to be fearful.  

The DJ’s have since apologized and their show has been cancelled. According to, the station will be paying out over 500,000 AUD to the victim's (Jacintha's) family. However, monetary compensation is at best a luke-warm comfort, for the pain and suffering the victim's family has to endure.

The lesson learnt is that you can never be certain of the effect an event may have  on someone’s mental health, so it is best to exhibit sensitivity at all times. 

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