Prince William wrote heartfelt letter to the family of nurse who killed herself after Australian DJs royal radio prank

Ben Barboza, the widowed husband of healthcare worker Jacintha Saldanha, said he was moved by the handwritten letter from the Duke of Cambridge

Jenn Selby
Sunday 07 December 2014 12:30 GMT

Prince William penned an emotive letter to the family of the nurse who tragically took her own life after she accidentally played a part in leaking the details of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy following a prank call by two Australian radio show hosts.

Ben Barboza, the widowed husband of healthcare worker Jacintha Saldanha, said he was moved by the handwritten honour from the Duke of Cambridge.

“It is unbelievably sad and we both extend to and your family our deepest condolences,” Prince William wrote in the note to the family, dated on New Year’s Day 2013.

Jacintha Saldanha pictured with husband Ben Barboza (Reuters)

“We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha and have been thinking about her a lot recently. Many of the nurses spoke highly of her and I'm sure you know how great a nurse she was.

“Jacintha and her colleagues looked after us extremely well and I am just so sorry that someone who cared for others so much found themselves in such a desperate situation.”

However, Barboza added that he is still unable to forgive the two DJs for the actions that led to his wife’s untimely death.

Benedict Barboza, second from left, the husband of Jacintha Saldanha, their children Lisha and Junal, right, and Keith Vaz MP, centre, arrive for the inquest (AFP/Getty)

“I am just really angry, why did they do that?” he told the Mail on Sunday.

“Just a matter of three or four seconds changed our whole life. They were making some kind of mockery saying, 'OK we fooled them'.

“I can't forgive the people who broadcast that.”

Saldanha was found dead in the nursing accommodation she lived at on 7 December 2012 following a broadcast by DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian on Sydney's 2Day FM on 4 December.

A coroner later ruled a verdict of suicide.

Greig had called the hospital pretending to be the Queen and asking for information as to the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge, who was being treated at the King Edward VII Hospital in London for morning sickness.

Perhaps believing the phone call to be genuine, she then put Greig through to another nurse, who gave the presenter classified information about the Duchess’s health.

Australian radio DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig

Despite support from the hospital, an inquest into her death heard that Saldanha took responsibility for the information leak on herself.

“It was the humiliation she felt, and the guilt,” Barboza continued. “I go over that in my mind, over and over. She didn't want me to know, to share that humiliation.”

Greig has since admitted she was “disgusted with herself” for her actions, and has publicly apologised to Barboza and Saldanha’s family.

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