A 2012 radio prank involving Kate Middleton, which resulted in the death of one of her nurses, is rumored to be the reason the Duchess of Cambridge refused hospital treatment following the announcement of her second pregnancy earlier this month, Life & Style magazine is reporting. Middleton, 32, currently three months pregnant with her and Prince William’s second child, reportedly turned down traditional hospital care in favor of personal attention from Kensington Palace doctors because of the stunt, despite suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness.
The prank involved Australian radio personalities Michael Christian and Mel Greig calling King Edward VII Hospital in London under the guise of being Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in an effort to reach Middleton in the hospital during her first pregnancy with Prince George, now 14 months old. Jacintha Saldanha, a 46-year-old nurse on staff at the facility, answered the call and divulged personal details about Middleton’s condition while she was being treated for the same acute form of morning sickness. Three days after the prank aired, Saldanha committed suicide, citing the call as one of the causes in one of her three suicide notes, according to a report from ABC.
Almost two years after Saldanha’s passing, the tabloid claims Middleton still feels anxiety about the incident. “Kate could get better care in a hospital, but Kate and Will have ruled that out,” the magazine reported in their Oct. 13 print issue. “That episode still haunts Kate and adds to the stress she’s under.”
The Duchess and Duke and Cambridge previously spoke out about Saldanha’s passing in statement, a St. James Palace spokesman saying the couple was “deeply saddened” to learn of her death. “Their Royal Highness were looked after so wonderfully well at all times … Their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha’s Saldanha’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.” A spokesperson later confirmed to CNN that the palace had not complained about the prank prior to her suicide.
The palace confirmed Middleton’s second pregnancy and her battle with hyperemesis gravidarum diagnosis on Sept. 8. The usually slim duchess, despite receiving home care for her morning sickness, is rumored to be down to a “scary skinny” 108 pounds, says the magazine. “She can’t keep food down and has been vomiting nonstop,” a “royal insider” said. “William has pleaded with her to take things easy. He just wants her to get better.”
Contradictory to the magazine’s report, “royal aides” told the Daily Mail that Middleton will resume her royal duties next month. “There will be engagements in October and November. We just haven’t announcement them yet,” a source said. The announcement followed the cancellation of several appearances for the duchess in recent weeks, including her first solo trip to Malta. She is reportedly due in March or April 2015.