Hundreds of mourners gathered in a small town in India yesterday for the funeral of a nurse found dead after answering a prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated for morning sickness.

Friends and family paid their respects to Jacintha Saldanha, 46, during a ceremony in Shirva, some 30 miles north of Mangalore on the south-west coast. Crowds lined the roads while relatives attended a private ceremony.

Mrs Saldanha, a mother-of-two, was found hanging in her nurses' quarters at London's King Edward VII Hospital on December 7.

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Three days earlier she transferred a call from two Australian DJs, believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales, to a colleague who described the Duchess's condition.