Remember Jacintha Saldanha? The night nurse at King Edward VII Hospital who committed suicide just days after being the victim of a prank call by two Australian DJs when they pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles in an effort to get information about then-pregnant-with-George Kate Middleton? It’s been two years since Saldanha’s suicide, and her husband, Ben Barboza, has given an interview to the Daily Mail’s Mail on Sunday in which he revealed Prince William wrote him a condolence letter three weeks after Saldanha’s death.
William’s letter was written on New Year’s Day, three weeks after Saldanha’s death, while he was stationed on Anglesey. It reads:
Dear Mr Barboza,
I just wanted to write on behalf of Catherine and myself to say how sorry we were to hear about Jacintha. It is unbelievably sad and we both extend to you and your family our deepest condolences. It must be a very difficult time for you all with many questions and thoughts, but we both pray that things will get easier for you.
We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha and have been thinking about her a lot recently. Many of the nurses in the hospital spoke highly of her and I’m sure you know how great a nurse she was. Jacintha, and her colleagues, looked after us both extremely well, and I am just so sorry that someone who cared for others so much found themselves in such a desperate situation.
This letter comes with my thoughts and prayers to you all.
With my condolences,
Sarah, Duchess of York also wrote condolence letters to Saldanha’s children signed by her and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
In the Mail on Sunday article, Keith Vaz, the MP for Leicester East, who has been helping the Saldanha family, said William and Kate had taken an enormous interest in the family’s plight and asked to be kept updated. Saying also: “The concern and sympathy the Royal couple have shown is just outstanding. Mr Barboza is extremely grateful.”
I’ve only covered the parts relating to the royals, but to read all of Barboza’s thoughts about his late wife and her tragic death, as well as his anger toward the DJs who committed the prank call and his blame of the hospital for not properly checking up on her, go here.
Not to be an a-hole, but because we all know Will and Kate tend to take the easy way out and lie about things, I was immediately questioning whether William actually wrote the letter or not, because there was no picture of the letter in the Mail article. But I read threw some of the comments on the article and multiple comments mention how horrible William’s handwriting is, so pictures of the letter must have been in the original article – it’s been updated now. While the photos of the letters are no longer in the article, I was able to find them, and yes William did hand-write the letter himself.
I think this was a wonderful thing to do and shows a human side to William that we don’t often see. But most importantly, it made Barboza feel better after his tragic loss. So good on William for doing the decent thing and writing this letter – and actually taking the time to write it by hand. It’s the least he could do after what happened.
Below are pictures of William’s letter and Sarah, Duchess of York’s letter.
Photos: Les Wilson/Mail on Sunday
30 thoughts on “Prince William wrote a condolence letter to Jacintha Saldanha’s husband”
I’ve always thought William was capable of showing a human side, he seems to fail only when with Kate.
I do feel for Ben Barboza and his children. It’s so sad that his wife was pushed over the edge by this call, she must have been so stressed to do this – why did no one noticed Jancintha was in crisis? It’s terrible they have had the pain of her death for 2 years while waiting for the inquest.
The whole thing is such a tragedy. She apparently didn’t tell her husband anything, and who knows what kind of support the hospital (who would have been trying to cover their own ass) gave her. There were reports of William being furious, so that would have added to her guilt.
And good on Sarah for writing to the family too.
I love the kisses penned after their signatures, too. So sweet.
Handwriting it was excellent. Sarah was good to write the kids. Too bad William can’t be like this more often.
Smart move to hand write it, and good for him for doing so. But it’s too bad Kate didn’t even sign it.
You keep forgetting Babykins was ill with the wicked HG.
Lol I did. And, of course, Will gave no sh-ts about leaving her to go back to Wales.
It was a compassionate gesture on William’s part, but I wonder that he didn’t sign Kate’s name on her behalf if she didn’t feel quite up to holding a pen for 15 seconds.
Well there’s a shred of humanity in the bastard after all. Shame it took the suicide of a woman to bring it out. It is of course entirely plausible that Katie actually was very ill with H.G. at the time; but seeing as how she was the one who indirectly caused this mess by being hospitalized, you would think she would have the basic human decency to write or phone Mr. Barboza when she was well to personally express her condolences.
Especially considering she was able to go look at her portrait a few days later and took a vacation to Mustique a few weeks after that, she should have been well enough to make a phone call or write a letter herself.
I read about this yesterday on the DM and thought this was a very nice gesture on Williams part. I do wonder if Catherine contacted the family or if Williams letter was meant to suffice for the both of them? This whole situation was simply terrible and as Cathy stated did no one notice that this woman was suffering, was none of the hospital staff or administration offering her any support during this time?
One more thought, I frequently type my letters and then sign them so I don’t think all the letters sent by either William or Kate are written by others.
The hospital was trying to cover their own ass at the time because William was reportedly throwing a tantrum about the leak. They said afterward that they told Jacintha that it wasn’t her fault, but who knows what kind of support they offered her. The whole thing is just a tragedy. I do wonder what happened to the other nurse involved in the prank call. Because Jacintha only transferred the call to Kate’s ward, she was not the nurse who actually revealed Kate’s personal details, that was a different nurse.
Was that nurse ever disciplined? All the attention went to Jacintha (rightly so) after her took her life, but the nurse that actually revealed the details was the one who should have been racked over the coals. None of it would have happened if Willy relied on staff. Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe explained that royals always have a private way of contacting one of their own in hospital, without going through the main switchboard. The first thing the royal bodyguards do when a royal patient is admitted to hospital, is to isolate the switchboard. Any calls that are made through are given first to the personal police officer stationed outside the royal’s room, then it is passed on to a lady-in-waiting or page to verify the caller’s identity.
Unfortunately I think also the ignorance of the public in knowing much about the royals played in as well. The DJs pretended to be the Queen and the Prince Charles. They would NEVER call at the same time from the same room. The Queen is in Buckingham Palace and the Prince of Wales is at Clarence House. It’s not like all the royals live together in one palace, but I’m sure a lot of the public have no earthly clue about that. The lack of staff and knowledge helped contribute to this sad event.
Obvious PR is obvious.
I give PW credit for his humanity! I would love to see more of this side of PW. There just may be some hope……Lets see how the New York trip goes. Keeping my fingers cross that they do a great job representing the Queen and GB!
By sending a handwritten letter, PW very personally extended support to that poor woman’s husband and acquitting blame. I’d like to applaud but the release, unless made public before, seems suspicious. The husband must have released it but when? Is it being used now because Kate will be touring a CDC with Chirlane in NY, and reports are that mental health is one major component addressed there? It would be incredibly wrong to position Kate and/or Will to lead the crusade using the nurse’s death and their expression of compassion. Mental health needs to be addressed world-wide, but these two do not have the depth to be a spokesperson.
The husband released the letter, and to be honest, I don’t think it has much to do with Will or Kate. Neither one is doing anything with mental health; and this story is getting buried by the NY trip, so if it were supposed to be used by them for anything it failed. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s just my opinion.
I hope it was just a publicity promo by Wonderkid to make PW look like a great guy.
Maybe I am dead inside, but my first thought was W is covering his a$$. You guys don’t think he had a major meltdown after that prank call, and started screaming for everyone involved to be sacked? Or he’d sue? That poor nurse would have been a pariah, that’s why no one checked on her, they thought she’d gone home. The article says that the inquest kept getting postponed six months at a time, inexplicably. Because KP needed that time to cover W’s butt. That’s why it took three weeks for the letter, that’s why Kate didn’t sign it, smart girl wants nothing to do with the suicide W MAY have caused. That the letter is being published now is pure PR, meant to blunt the rumors of W’s hissyfit. I am speculating wildly here, I have no proof, but I would bet my bank acct it’s all or mostly true.
Much as I would like to say that Will wrote this strictly from his heart, I think I will roll with Red Snapper on this one. Although the Palace always said that no one in the RF blamed anyone at the hospital for the incident, I think Willy has long shown his outright contempt for even the smallest breach of his privacy. In every instance (unless it was a PR stunt he approved) he has come for the culprit with both barrels. We know him to be selfish, immature, and downright nasty when something doesn’t go his way. Now, having said all that, I do believe he could have felt remorse and contrition when he wrote this letter. Yeah, I am a cinic. But, I have been around a long time and have found that people rarely change, and never when they are protected from all sides, as is the case in the BRF.
Oh for sure Will had a major meltdown after the prank call; that was probably one of the factors in Jacintha feeling so horribly about the situation. For the two or three days before her suicide, there were reports of William being furious. I think the letter was maybe half guilt, half covering his ass. But I don’t think the release of the letter is necessarily PR driven. If it were, it would have come out around the time he sent it, because there were reports of him being pissed and such and of course the whole pulling away/not wanting anything to do with the situation, and if they wanted to cover his ass, they would have done so immediately. There were rumors of Will’s hissyfit at the time, but no one mentions it now. Also the letter was released by the husband, Barboza, what shits does he give about helping Will’s PR? Also, weird timing since the story got buried by the NY trip. If it were super obvious PR meant to stop rumors and cover his ass, they would have released it not on the Sunday he started a high-profile trip. But that’s just my opinion. I obviously don’t know the exact reason Barboza released the letter.
Oh, Will. He can be human at times. I was shocked to see that Sarah sent a letter. I think that despite being a train wreck, she is a good person. I’ve always wished that she and Andrew got back together. I think that she lost sight of who she was and got manipulated by people, including Diana.
I agree with Rhiannon. It was surprising to see a letter from Sarah. Even though he has made a mess of a lot of things she has always tried to do her best but was lost in the manipulations of others. At the very least you can say she cares about others, unlike Kate to appears to not care at all? (tilt head on side and simper)
I was surprised to see a letter from Sarah since she had no connection to the situation at all, but I thought it was a nice gesture and probably made her children happy.
Nice letter, very loving actually, from Sarah and her daughters. Lovely of them.
Nice, too, of William. I am sure he is his Mother’s son. And, yes, I also wish Catherine had signed the letter.
I think it was top drawer for William to write on his and Kates behalf.
He is only human and this time he got it exactly right.
I don’t give him too much credit, because I’m sure he was instructed to do so for PR purposes. Still, it was a nice thing, at least. (Petty reaction: he had some of the best education money can buy, and that’s the best writing he can do? My middle-school-age niece’s work is more sophisticated).
As much as I don’t like Will and Kate, I do feel it’s unfair of them to be blamed for what the nurse did. Her husband, her family, many posters have even gone so far as to say that they have blood on their hands. I disagree totally. Unfortunately, I have personal experience in this matter. I was very close with someone who killed himself, and none of us expected it. Sometimes people are going through mental or emotional turmoil and they just don’t express it. You can’t blame the people around them for not anticipating what they’ll do. It’s not as if she was fired or even disciplined by the hospital. And to be honest, if her own family didn’t know what she would do, how can the hospital or Will and Kate be blamed? For someone with a husband and children to kill herself, there was obviously something very, very wrong emotionally or mentally. It’s sad she didn’t get help, but it’s one of those “crimes” which can’t be blamed on anyone
Honestly, what Jacintha did wasn’t event that humiliating and/or wrong. She just put a call through. It was the other nurse who spilled all Kate’s info without even checking to see who she was talking to. Jacintha was barely to blame in that situation. Clearly there were other problems that existed long before that incident. I do think that incident (both the humiliation and the possible tantrum from Will) pushed her over the edge, but she was already on the edge to begin with, you know.
Something that’s been bugging me about the situation, the hospital (or someone like that) said that Jacintha had had previous suicide attempts, or had been depressed (I can’t remember what was said, it was two years ago), and then the husband at the time said that was BS and Jacintha was not depressed. But then the husband just said Jacintha didn’t tell him what was going on due to “humiliation”. Depression has such a stigma, and if Jacintha was going to hide things from her husband due to “humiliation”, then she would probably have hidden her depression as well.
Oh, I agree! When I said ” I do feel it’s unfair of them to be blamed for what the nurse did,” I meant committing suicide. I don’t think she really did anything wrong re the call.
There definitely have to have been other issues there. I know her family denied it, but to be honest, they’re not exactly a reliable source. They were in mourning, and when you’re in mourning for someone close to you it’s easier to lash out at someone else and identify someone responsible. It’s hard to just accept that nobody’s to blame, but often with cases of mental illness that’s the truth.
In any case, I hope her husband and children find peace over time.
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