King Edward VII hospital has written a scathing letter to 2DayFM, the Australian radio station who prank called Kate Middleton's nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who was later found dead of an apparent suicide on December 7.
In the letter, hospital chairman Lord Glenarthur states, "I am writing to protest in the strongest possible terms about the hoax call made from your radio station. It was extremely foolish of your presenters even to consider trying to lie their way through to one of our patients ... That the call had been pre-recorded and the decision to transmit approved by your station's management was truly appalling."
"The immediate consequence of these premeditated and ill-considered actions was the humiliation of two dedicated and caring nurses who were simply doing their job tending to their patients," Glenarthur continues. "The longer term consequence has been reported around the world and is, frankly, tragic beyond words. 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."
On December 4, 2DayFM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian called the hospital pretending to be Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth, and Saldanha, who had been caring for Middleton during her stay, fell for the prank. Saldanha then passed them on to another nurse, who gave away confidential details about the pregnant Duchess. Just three days later, Saldanha was found dead, and authorities suspect that she took her own life.
2DayFM owner Rhys Holleran spoke out about the incident and said that the DJs involved were "completely shattered" over Saldanha's death. "These people aren't machines, they're human beings," he said. "What happened is incredibly tragic, and we're deeply saddened and incredibly affected by that ... No one could have reasonably foreseen what ended up being an incredibly tragic day."
After the news broke that Saldanha had died, the royal family released the following statement: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha," Kate and Prince William,, both 30, said in an earlier statement. "Their Royal Highnesses 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."