The 19-year-old son of the tragic Indian-origin nurse Jacintha Sadanha has spoken of his great pride after being named ‘Student of the Year’ at his sixth form college in Bristol and earning a place at Northumbria University.
Junal Barboza, topped his class and will study architecture at Northumbria.
The news comes less than two years after Mr Barboza’s mother was found hanged inside her London apartment following the hoax telephone call involving the Duchess of Cambridge.
Mrs Saldanha, 46, was on night duty at the King Edward VII hospital in London when she took a call from two Australian radio presenters pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles wanting to speak to the Duchess who had been suffering from acute morning sickness.
Mangalore-born Mrs Saldanha is said to have passed the call to another nurse who then proceeded to give out details of the Duchess’ sickness and which was heard on-air in Australia.
The news of Mrs Saldanha’s subsequent death caused shock around the world and brought her family, including Junal and his younger sister to the spotlight.
Junal has now spoken of his pride and says his mother inspired him to take up architecture.
He told the Sunday Telegraph: “She was the designer of the family and the artist as well. She would always help me with my drawing and I hope I have inherited a bit of that”.
Junal is said to have given up sports and other hobbies to concentrate on his academic studies after returning to school in March 2013.
He admits that it is still difficult.
“The memories never fade. It may be less visible physically, but mentally it is still scarring,” he said.
But he says that his ‘A Level’ results are just the first of many milestones and believes that his mother is looking over him.
“Each day is something we have to conquer, together. It still feels like all of this happened yesterday’’ he says.