Royal Hoax Nurse's Funeral Held In India

About 2,000 mourners in a small town in India have paid their respects to the nurse who was found dead after taking a royal hoax call.

The funeral for mother-of-two Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was held in the Catholic parish church Our Lady of Health in Shirva, near Mangalore.

"She was a respected member of the community here," said Sky's India Correspondent Alex Rossi, who was in Shirva.

"When you speak to people amongst those crowds, they will tell you that she was extremely well-liked."

Ms Saldanha was found hanged in her living quarters  on December 7 at London's King Edward VII's Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for pregnancy sickness.

Three days earlier, Ms Saldanha had transferred a phone call from two Australian DJs, believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales, to a nursing colleague who described in detail the condition of the Duchess.

Ms Saldanha's husband Benedict Barboza and their two teenage children Junal and Lisha arrived in India on Sunday with her body from the UK, where the family moved about 12 years ago.

Mr Barboza held a press conference just five minutes after he laid the body of his wife to rest in the cemetery behind the church.

He said it would take him a long time to grieve and he would stay in Shirva over Christmas with the rest of his family before returning home to the UK.

Rossi said: "He looked absolutely exhausted throughout. He was tearful."

A family friend then read out a statement on behalf of Mr Barboza.

"The events of the last week have shattered our lives and we barely have any strength to grieve," the statement said.

"The incidents leading to this tragedy are being investigated by the London Metropolitan Police and they have assured us of a full and fair investigation."

Before arriving in India, the family attended a memorial mass in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday. They paid an emotional tribute to a "kind-hearted, generous and well-respected woman".

Mr Barboza said: "My wife, you were the light in my darkness, who always showed me the way forward.

"From the day we met, you always stood by me in times of hardship and happiness. I feel a part of me has been ripped out."

Ms Saldanha's 14-year-old daughter said: "We will miss your laughter, the loving memories and the good times we had together. The house is an empty dwelling without your presence.

"We are shattered and there's an unfillable void in our lives."

Her son, 16, said: "Our mother, kind hearted, generous and a well-respected woman in both of our lives. You were the core of the family who kept us together."

Memorial services were also held at the hospital where Ms Saldanha worked and in Bristol where her husband and children live.

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