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Jacintha Saldanha Dead: Nurse Duped By Kate Middleton Prank Call Dies

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JACINTHA SALDANHA DEAD
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The nurse who was found dead after answering a prank phone call made to Kate Middleton's hospital has been identified as Jacintha Saldanha.

The King Edward VII Hospital, where Saldanha was employed as a nurse, confirmed that Saldanha had worked at the hospital for four years and was a valued employee. She was found dead Friday morning near the hospital in what is speculated to be a suicide.

On Wednesday, Saldanha picked up a phone call made to the hospital by two Australian radio hosts pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. Falling for the trick, she put the call through to one of the Duchess of Cambridge's nurses, who proceeded to divulge private information about Kate and her pregnancy.

On Friday morning, Saldanha was found unconscious and subsequently pronounced dead. King Edward VII Hospital released a statement later on Friday read by the hospital chief executive, John Lofthouse. "It is with deep sadness as I can confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha," he said, adding that she was "an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues."

Lofthouse continued:

"We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her through this very difficult time. Jacintha was a first-class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family and her friends."

According to the Daily Express' Richard Palmer, St. James Palace also expressed their condolences:

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. 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."

Rebecca English, royal reporter for the Daily Mail, reports that "at no point did the palace complain to the hospital about the incident," according to a royal spokesman. "On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times.''

Read more updates about Friday's events here.

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