Awarding Deborah James her Damehood ‘amazing for her family’, says William

The Duke of Cambridge has described awarding Deborah James her Damehood as an “amazing” experience for her family, as he met the nurses and medical specialists who cared for the cancer campaigner.

William joked “as she put it, she made bowel cancer sexy” when he visited the Royal Marsden Hospital in central London to watch a cancer patient undergo cutting-edge treatment provided by a robotic surgeon.

Dame Deborah, known online as Bowel Babe, was honoured for her “tireless campaigning” to raise awareness of bowel cancer and the duke visited her at home earlier this month to present the campaigner with her honour.

The Duke of Cambridge (left) looks at a screen to follow the robotic microwave ablation procedure during his visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, to learn about some of the innovative work that The Royal Marsden is carrying out (Frank Augstein/PA)

In a bitter sweet moment William described how Dame Deborah joked she could now “drink” and was “triple parked” with glasses lined up as they celebrated her damehood.

Speaking about when he visited Dame Deborah at home, he told Dr Nicos Fotiadis, a consultant interventional radiologist, who treated the cancer activist: “It was an amazing moment for them,” adding “I loved meeting her, she was fantastic.”

A post from the Instagram feed of Deborah James/bowelbabe after the Duke of Cambridge visited the family home of Deborah James to honour her with a damehood (Deborah James/bowelbabe/Instagram)

The host of popular BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C previously disclosed she has moved to hospice-at-home care to treat her terminal bowel cancer.

William also chatted to chief nurse Mairead Griffin, deputy chief nurse Jo Waller and ward sister Rowena Trono who also cared for the campaigner.

The duke said about meeting Dame Deborah: “I was very honoured to be able to speak to her, it felt like a very personal family moment… it was a glorious day as well.

The Duke of Cambridge meets staff during his visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital (Frank Augstein/PA)

“But thank you, I know she’d want me to say this as well, thank you to you guys for caring for her – she always spoke very highly about her care.”

In a lighter moment the duke described how the family celebrated with champagne: “She was saying basically ‘I can now drink, I can now drink this is brilliant’.”

“She was triple parked and she kept making a joke about how many drinks she could get lined up in front of her.”


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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