Receptionist who was duped by Australian DJs’ prank call to Kate Middleton’s hospital call dies in suspected suicide

A receptionist at the private hospital which treated the Duchess of Cambridge has died in a suspected suicide – two days after being duped by an amateurish hoax from an Australian radio station.

The woman’s unconscious body was found at an address yards away from King Edward VII Hospital, where she worked, just before 9.30am today.

The emergency services were called and two ambulances were despatched to the central London residence.

Prince William Kate Middleton

But paramedics were unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers from Scotland Yard launched an investigation yesterday and are treating the death as ‘unexplained’.

The exact cause of death remained unclear. However, one source indicated that the woman appeared to have killed herself.

Two days earlier the receptionist took a phone call from giggling DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

The Australian station and presenters advertised the stunt worldwide and today Christian was continuing to boast about the prank ‘making international headlines’ on Twitter.

Mel Greig Michael Christian royal prank

Presenters: Mel Greig (left) and Michael Christian (right) made the call about the Duchess

DJ Michael Christian's Twitter feed

Still boasting: DJ Michael Christian’s Twitter feed today

In the call at 5.30am on Tuesday impersonating the Queen, Miss Greig said: ‘Oh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter?’

Thinking she was speaking to the Queen, the receptionist replied: ‘Oh yes, just hold on ma’am’.

She then put the presenters through to one of the nurses who was caring for the Duchess.

The nurse also believed she was speaking to the Queen and went on to make a number of deeply personal observations about Kate’s health.

A recording of the entire conversation was played on the Sydney-based radio station 2Day.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday: ‘Police were called at approximately 9.25am on Friday, December 7, to a report of a woman found unconscious an address in Weymouth Street, W1.

‘London Ambulance Service attended and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances of the incident.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage’.

Today the Duchess of Cambridge was resting at the London home she shares with Prince William after her release from hospital yesterday morning, where she had been recovering from hyperemesis gravidarum.

She was forced to cancel a string of engagements because of her acute morning sickness.

Kate, who was admitted to hospital on Monday, returned to Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace and cancelled upcoming engagements after doctors told her to rest.

And she may have to recuperate without Prince William by her side, as he may be returning to duty with his Search and Rescue squadron at RAF Valley in Anglesey, it has been reported.

Prince William royal prank

Third visit: Prince William (centre) arrives at the King Edward VII Hospital to visit his wife the Duchess of Cambridge in central London on Tuesday, as news was developing of the extraordinary call

She missed a planned fund-raising engagement in the City of London on Wednesday because she was confined to hospital.

St James’s Palace confirmed that the Duchess, 30, will miss a ball in aid of homeless charity Cantrepoint at Royal Albert Hall tomorrow and will also be forced to cancel an appearance at the British Military Tournament at Earl’s Court on Sunday.

The Duke of Cambridge is expected to appear at all of the events while his wife rests.

She was expected to attend a showing of The Hobbit in Leicester Square next Wednesday, but palace officials said that each engagement would be subject to medical advice and Kate’s condition.

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