A memorial service has been held for a nurse who died in an apparent suicide after taking a hoax call to a hospital treating Britain's Duchess of Cambridge.

Tributes were paid to Jacintha Saldanha - who put through the call from Australian DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig, who had impersonated Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles in an attempt to find out information on the pregnant royal - at London's King Edward VII hospital, where she took the call.

John Lofthouse, chief executive of the hospital, said: “King Edward VII's is a small hospital, with a tight-knit team. Everybody knew Jacintha, and we were all left deeply shocked by her tragic death following the hoax telephone call.

“This service was a chance for everyone here to pay their respects and remember a dear colleague.”

The hospital has defend its treatment of Jacintha after, in one of three suicide notes, she was said to have criticised how she was dealt with by senior hospital staff following the prank call.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “Following the hoax call, hospital management offered her their support and told her that they considered her to be the victim of a cruel hoax, and that they stood by her actions.”

Another memorial for the 46-year-old wife and mother-of-two also took place in her hometown of Bristol, south west England, yesterday, and a service for Jacintha will be held at London's Westminster Cathedral. - BANG Showbiz