Family, friends attend funeral of U.K. nurse found dead after royal prank
Benedict Barboza, wearing glasses at center, holds his son Junal, right, and daughter Lisha, during the burial of nurse Jacintha Saldanha in her hometown Shirva, near Mangalore in southwest India, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. (AP / Rafiq Maqbool)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, December 17, 2012 7:38AM EST
SHIRVA, India -- Family and friends of the nurse found hanging in her room days after she had been duped by a royal prank call from Australian DJs gathered in a church in south India for her funeral Monday.
Jacintha Saldanha's body was kept at her husband's home in the town of Shirva for a few hours before being taken to the church for a prayer service and burial.
Mourners crowded the Our Lady of Health Church in Shirva for the memorial service before heading to the cemetery in the church grounds. Catholic priests recited prayers as Saldanha's body was interred in a grave marked by a simple black cross.
Saldanha's husband and two children had accompanied the body from London, where her death on Dec. 7 is being investigated as an apparent suicide.
Saldanha answered the phone at London's King Edward VII Hospital when two DJs from Australian radio station 2DayFM called seeking information about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, who was being treated for severe morning sickness.
The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, and Saldanha was tricked into transferring the call to another nurse, who revealed private details about the former Kate Middleton's condition.
The DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, apologized for the prank in emotional interviews on Australian TV, saying they never expected their call would be put through. The show was taken off the air and the DJs have been suspended.