An Australian radio station is apologizing after two of their DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles during a prank call to the hospital where Kate Middleton was admitted on Monday.
On Tuesday, Digital Journal reported that Kate had been admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes in London after being diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that can cause pregnant women to experience extreme and persistent nausea and vomiting.
News of Kate's hospitalization created concern throughout the world, along with a media frenzy of reporters reporting every possible update and photographers documenting the comings and goings of anyone associated with Kate or the royal family.
On Tuesday, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, DJs with the Australian radio station 2DayFM, decided to call King Edward's Hospital and claim to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles while asking to speak with Kate on the telephone. Thinking numerous other people have tried the same prank, neither DJ believed they would actually get through to Kate or receive any information from the hospital. Despite what Greig and Christian call "horrible accents", and an unidentified person attempting to impersonate the Queen's Corgis by barking in the background, the call was transferred to a hospital staff member who began to relay information about Kate's condition. When asked if they could speak with Kate there were told:
"She is sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night. Sleep is good for her. 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 hasn't had any retching with me since I've been on duty and she has been sleeping on and off. I think it's difficult sleeping in a strange bed as well."
When the duo asked when they could visit Kate, the staff member informed them they could visit any time after 9:00.
After news of the prank call was reveled, questions surrounding the hospital's guidelines and privacy rules came into questions. A spokesman for the hospital told The Telegraph:
"This call was transferred through to a ward and a short conversation was held with one of the nursing staff. King Edward VII's Hospital deeply regrets this incident."
John Lofthouse, CEO of the hospital, went on to say:
"This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore. We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols."
A spokesman for the radio station issued an apology for the prank phone call, saying the station sincerely apologizes for the call and any inconvenience it may have caused, and that they wished Kate and the royal family "all the best".