The family of tragic nurse Jacintha Saldanha yesterday spoke of their ‘deep sadness’ over her death.
Jacintha is understood to have committed suicide after transferring a prank call from Australian radio DJs who impersonated the Queen.
The mother-of-two, who was working on the switchboard at the King Edward VII Hospital when 2DayFM obtained intimate details about Kate, was found dead yesterday morning.
A statement from the family said: “We as a family are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Jacintha. We would ask that the media respect our privacy at this difficult time.
“We would request that you direct your questions and queries through the police press office.”
A neighbour said the family have lived there £130,000 terraced home for about eight years.
Jacintha lived with her partner Ben and son Junal, 16, and daughter, believed to be 14.
She stays in London when she is working and lives with her family on days off.
The neighbour said: “They’re a lovely family – Ben gives my lad a lift when he goes refereeing at Bristol Rovers with Junal.
“It’s so so tragic, she was such a lovely woman.
“She must have thought there was no way back, that’s the only thing I can think of.”
Neighbours used to joke that tragic Jacintha Saldanha was a “nurse for the queen”.
One neighbour, who went by the name Maxine, said: “She was a lovely woman, just so smiley and bubbly.
“We used to joke with her that she was a nurse for the queen, she was just so nice.
“She’ll be much missed, her family will be absolutely devastated. It’s so tragic.”
Jacintha previously worked at North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals in the city.
A spokesman for the trust said yesterday: “Jacintha worked at North Bristol NHS Trust for a number of years dating back to 2003. We are shocked and saddened by this news and offer our sincere condolences.”
A former neighbour of tragic nurse Jacintha Saldanha yesterday described her as a ”nice, lovely lady”.
Marianne Homes, 49, said: “I’ve always known her as the doctor, she was always very smartly dressed.
“Their son was always really into football, we always saw him with a ball kicking it about with his friends.
“She was a lovely woman, everytime I saw her she would talk to me.
“I hadn’t seen her for a while, I wondered what had happened to her it’s so sad to know this has happened.
“She was always so smartly dressed and well presented.
“I think her kids are secondary school age, she definitely has one boy and one girl.”
In a statement, the Royal College of Nursing said: “The Royal College of Nursing has expressed sadness at the death of the nurse from the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge who took a hoax call about the Duchess’s condition.
“Jacintha Saldanha, who was found dead this morning, had worked at the King Edward VII Hospital for more than four years and was described by the hospital as a first-class nurse who had cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time there.”
Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “This is tragic news, and the thoughts of all at the Royal College of Nursing go to the family of Jacintha Saldanha.
“It is deeply saddening that a simple human error due to a cruel hoax could lead to the death of a dedicated and caring member of the nursing profession.”
The neighbour lived next door to Jacintha, her two sons and partner Benedict Barboza – know as Ben – at an address in Bristol several years ago.
Fighting back tears, she said: ”What a terrible tragedy – just before Christmas as well.
Oh those two young boys – they’ll be heartbroken. Her and Ben were a lovely couple.
“They didn’t live here very long, but they were such nice neighbours – they invited us in for a curry when they moved in.
“They lived here seven or eight years ago, if not more. They kept themselves to themselves mostly.
“They bought their own house and moved on – they were just renting here I think.
“I can’t believe what happened. It’s so sad, so tragic. They always spoke to us – she was such a nice lady.
“I didn’t know what she did for a living, but I knew she was a good person, as far as I knew.
“It’s devastating to hear she’s gone – and in such circumstances that could be so easily avoided. Those Australians that called the hospital want stringing up.”