Radio DJs pretend to be queen, make prank call to Kate's hospital
- The hospital says it "deeply regrets" the prank call getting through to the ward
- A nurse at King Edward VII Hospital gives DJs details of Catherine's condition
- The two Australian radio DJs claimed to be Queen Elizabeth II and her son, Prince Charles
- Prince William's wife is being treated for acute morning sickness
London (CNN) -- Two Australian radio DJs made a prank call to the hospital where Prince William's pregnant wife, Catherine, is staying with acute morning sickness, claiming to be Queen Elizabeth II and her son, Prince Charles.
The DJs, from Sydney's 2Day FM station, succeeded in getting through to Kate's private nurse at King Edward VII Hospital and had a brief conversation that included some details of her condition, according to audio of the call posted online.
The hospital issued a statement Wednesday confirming that the hoax call had been transferred to a ward in the early hours of Tuesday morning and a short conversation was held with one of the nursing staff.
The hospital "deeply regrets" the incident, it said.
John Lofthouse, chief executive at the hospital, is quoted as saying: "This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols."
Prince William's office at Clarence House has not commented on the incident.
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is still receiving treatment after she was admitted to the hospital Monday with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition which involves nausea and vomiting more severe than the typical morning sickness many women suffer during early pregnancy
Audio of the call posted online reveals that the nurse divulged details of Kate's condition and care.
"She's sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night, and sleep is good for her," the nurse says, sounding nervous. "She's been given some fluids to rehydrate her because she was quite dehydrated when she came in, but she's stable at the moment.''
She also tells DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who host the Summer 30 show on 2Day FM, what time William left the previous evening and suggests they visit after 9 a.m. when Catherine will be "freshened up."
"She's quite stable at the moment. She hasn't had any retching with me since I've been on duty, and she has been sleeping on and off," the nurse says. "I think it's difficult sleeping in a strange bed as well."
The incident is bound to raise concerns over security and privacy provisions at the hospital.
Greig, who impersonated the queen, exclaims after the call ends: "She was giving us real information!"
The conversation, in poorly done English accents and with frequent references to "Charles" walking the queen's corgis, her much-loved dogs, should have raised alarm bells with hospital staff.
The DJs commented on how easy it was to make the prank call.
The palace said Monday that Catherine, 30, is likely to remain in the hospital for several days.
The duchess is not yet 12 weeks pregnant, Clarence House told CNN, so the palace is not announcing a due date for the child.
William and Catherine's child will be next in line to the British throne after William, regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl.
Planned changes to the law of succession that end the tradition of a boy jumping over an elder sister are already de facto in effect, the British Cabinet Office said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Tuesday that all 16 countries that recognize the British monarch as their head of state have formally agreed to the change and British lawmakers will change the rules as soon as possible.
Clegg also said that the change in succession will allow someone in line to the throne to marry a Catholic -- but not to be a Catholic. The Church of England is the nation's official church. It split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century.
December 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM
I admit that I laughed, but is it really that serious? Also, doesn't she have an assistant or something fielding calls for her? sheesh
I admit that I laughed, but is it really that serious?
I can't help thinking that, if as a result of thing call procedures are tightened up, then the main result is going to be real relatives of real patients not being able to supply sufficient passwords to convince nurses and ending up with no information.
I've been in that situation before, phoning a hospital several hours away for an update on the condition of a loved one, and I feel a lot of sympathy if, in future, such people are needlessly denied access because of this.