Nurse who took Australian royal prank call blamed herself, inquest hears

Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:30pm EDT
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - A nurse found hanging after a prank call from two Australian radio presenters about Kate Middleton's first pregnancy blamed herself for the embarrassing release of intimate details of the duchess's condition, an inquest heard on Thursday.

Indian-born Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead in December 2012 in her hospital lodgings, a few days after she answered the call from Mel Greig and Michael Christian in which they had pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.

Saldanha put the call through to a colleague who disclosed details of Charles' daughter-in-law's condition during treatment for an extreme form of morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy, making headlines around the world.

At the High Court on Thursday the colleague, who cannot be identified, said Saldanha had told her in an email afterwards: "It's all my fault and I feel very bad about this.

"I'm very upset and don't know what to do," it went on. "I accept the fault is mine. I should have checked before I gave the call to you so I'm at fault."

The colleague, who had looked after other royals in the past, said Saldanha had also been having difficulties with a colleague which had been playing on her mind.

She added the hospital had been supportive and no blame had been cast.

One of two DJs who made the call, Greig, appeared at the inquest to honor a pledge made to her family.   Continued...

Australian DJ Mel Greig (2nd L) leaves the High Court in London September 11, 2014.    REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth