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Published: Thursday, 12/6/2012

Hospital falls for royal hoax as caller mimics queen, gets details on duchess

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pippa and James Middleton, siblings of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, leave the hospital where the duchess is being treated for acute morning sickness. Pippa and James Middleton, siblings of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, leave the hospital where the duchess is being treated for acute morning sickness.
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LONDON — The British hospital treating Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, admitted Wednesday it was victimized by a crank call in which information about her condition was given out to a woman impersonating Queen Elizabeth II.

King Edward VII’s hospital acknowledged an Australian radio station made a hoax call to the hospital early Tuesday — and the hospital fell for it.

The duchess, the former Kate Middleton, 30, is pregnant and is being treated at the hospital for severe morning sickness.

A woman using the often-mimicked voice of the monarch asked after the duchess’ health — and was told the duchess “hasn’t had any retching with me and she’s been sleeping on and off.”

“She’s sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night. She’s been given some fluids. She’s stable at the moment,” the nurse informed the supposed queen and Prince Charles. A dog yaps in the background while the “queen” and her son talk about traveling to the hospital to check in on the patient.

“I would suggest that any time after 9 o’clock will be suitable to visit,” the nurse said. “We’ll be getting her freshened up.”

The duchess is married to the queen’s grandson, Prince William.

The call had been transferred to a ward and the conversation was held with one of its nursing staff. Its telephone protocols are being reviewed, a hospital official said.

The Australian station 2DayFM has placed the recording of the conversation on its Web site.

The duchess is spending her third day in the hospital while being treated for acute morning sickness. Prince William visited her at the hospital for several hours Tuesday, while media camped outside, seeking news on the pregnancy. Officials from St. James’ Palace have said she is not 12 weeks pregnant.


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