An Australian DJ duo last night prank-called the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is being treated for severe morning sickness - and were put through to her nurse.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who co-host the program The Summer 30 on Australia’s 2Day FM, called the central London hospital pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles. They were immediately put through to Kate’s personal nurse, who divulged personal details about her condition, gave a report on forthcoming treatment, and even mentioned the exact time Prince William left the hospital. (The Mail has an edited version of the call here; we're not linking to the full version because it contains private medical details.)
A spokesperson from King Edward VII Hospital today verified the call was genuine.
The incident raises serious questions about the security protocol undertaken by hospital staff, who seemed genuinely nonplussed to be receiving a late night call from Buckingham Palace. Greig and Christian – armed with little more than a pair of ludicrous British accents and an accomplice impersonating a royal corgi – convinced the receptionist that they were in fact the Queen and Prince Charles calling to see how Kate’s “little tummy bug is going”.
Extracts from the conversation include such implausibly hokey lines as:
Mel (Queen) : “When is a good time to come down? I’m the Queen you see, so I need a lift.”
Michael (Charles) : “Well it’s hardly the Palace, is it?” [After the nurse admits Kate is having trouble sleeping in a strange bed]
[*cue fake background barking*]
Mel (Queen) : “When are you going to walk those bloody corgis, Charles?”
Michael (Charles) : “Oh Mumsy, I’m just going to take the dogs outside now.”
John Lofthouse, chief executive of the hospital, told the Mail: 'This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols.'