Prince William Praises 'Brave and Inspirational' Dame Deborah James to the Hospital Staff Who Cared for Her

·3 min read
The Duke of Cambridge Visits The Royal Marsden
The Duke of Cambridge Visits The Royal Marsden

Frank Augstein - WPA Pool/Getty Images Prince William at the Royal Marsden Hospital

Prince William is opening up about his private visit with "brave and inspirational" BBC host Dame Deborah James.

The Duke of Cambridge visited the Royal Marsden Hospital in London on Tuesday to meet with nurses and staff who helped care for James, who is now in hospice after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, and to see the latest groundbreaking technology used to treat patients with cancer.

William, 39, became president of the hospital in 2007, following in the footsteps of his late mother Princess Diana, who also supported the facility and frequently made visits.

Earlier this month, William made a private visit to see James at her family's home to present her with a Damehood honor on behalf of Queen Elizabeth. The U.K. radio host, 40, recently announced that her Bowelbabe Fund has brought in £5 million (equivalent to over $6 million).

"I loved meeting her, she was fantastic — her legacy is massive," William told Lorraine Kimber, 59, a patient who is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

"She was incredible, incredible. She was surrounded by her family, we had a lovely afternoon," he said.

Dr. Nicos Fotiadis, who treated James, thanked William for going to see her as it sent a "powerful" message.

"It is important to acknowledge and recognize people like Deborah who do such an awful lot to help other people in very difficult circumstances. She's done a brilliant job," William replied.

William joked, "As she put it, she made bowel cancer sexy, those are her words, not mine!"

The Duke of Cambridge looks at a screen to follow the robotic microwave ablation procedure during his visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital
The Duke of Cambridge looks at a screen to follow the robotic microwave ablation procedure during his visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital

Alamy Stock Photo Prince William at the Royal Marsden Hospital

William, who said James was "on amazing form" when he saw James alongside her family, including her husband and two children, shared, "She was joking…because they are a very tight family, very close, you could see that….she was joking that at last, she could now drink."

"I love Deborah, she's fantastic. Her legacy is massive. I was very honored to be able to speak to her," he continued. "It felt like a very personal family moment that I was there for. It was a glorious day as well. Thank you to you all for what you have done for her. She spoke very highly about her care. It was a touching moment."

Speaking to the hospital staff, William added: "Thank you so much for looking after her so well. She is a brave and inspirational woman."

The Duke of Cambridge Visits The Royal Marsden
The Duke of Cambridge Visits The Royal Marsden

Frank Augstein - WPA Pool/Getty Images Prince William at the Royal Marsden Hospital

The Royal Marsden Hospital is a recipient of the vast fundraising effort led by Deborah James, whose podcasting and openness about her battle with bowel cancer has been followed around the world. Her fund has raised $7.5 million and William presented her with a unique Damehood honor, given by Queen Elizabeth, at her home on May 14.

RELATED: The History of Deborah James' Fearless Campaign to Raise Bowel Cancer Awareness

William wore medical scrubs as he visited the Reuben Foundation Imaging Centre at the hospital to see how radiologists use a robotic-guided procedure to treat patients faster and more accurately. He also viewed an interventional radiology procedure, which uses image-guided medical treatments to minimalize invasive procedures.

William was also shown The Royal Marsden's Man Van, a mobile health clinic visiting workplaces and churches around London to improve healthcare access and encourage traditionally reluctant men to get regular health checks.

The Duke of Cambridge meets staff during his visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital
The Duke of Cambridge meets staff during his visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital

Alamy Stock Photo Prince William at the Royal Marsden Hospital

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The Royal Marsden Hospital, which opened in 1851, was the world's first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education. Today, it is a world-leading cancer center specializing in cancer diagnosis, treatment, research, and education.

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