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Why Prince William was the chosen royal to present Deborah James with her damehood

The BBC podcaster was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016

The Duke of Cambridge made a special house call on Friday when he visited Deborah James to present her with her Damehood after it was revealed that he was the driving force behind the honour.

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The You, Me And The Big C podcaster – who has raised more than £5.1 million with her Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK – announced this week that she is receiving end-of-life care for her bowel cancer.

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On Thursday, she said she was "blown away and crying at the honour" after Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and No10 Downing Street pulled out all the stops to make it happen.

Deborah has been treated at The Royal Marsden Hospital following her diagnosis in 2016, and they were among the first to congratulate her on such an incredible honour.

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"We are so proud of Deborah James being honoured with a Damehood," a post on Instagram read on Friday. We are blown away by the @bowelbabefund, which has now raised an incredible amount of over £4million to support us, @bowelcanceruk and @cr_uk.

The Royal Marsden paid tribute to Deborah after her Damehood

"Deborah is an absolute inspiration to so many people with cancer, a passionate supporter of The @royalmarsden Cancer Charity and her infectious positivity has given so many other people hope. @bowelbabe you are truly special, and you're an absolute legend.

"Please buy a drink for Deborah by donating the price of one or whatever you can to the Bowelbabe Fund: www.bowelbabe.org."

Prince William – who has been patron of The Royal Marsden since 2017, a position previously held by his mother, Princess Diana – arrived without Duchess Kate at Deborah's home to present her with her Damehood.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Deborah James (@bowelbabe)

Prince William visited Deborah at home

While Kate has publicly expressed her admiration for Deborah, she would not have joined her husband as only he, Prince Charles and Princess Anne can hand out Investitures on behalf of the Queen.

Damehoods and knighthoods are usually listed in the New Year or Queen's Birthday Honours, but in exceptional circumstances, some are announced at other times.

deborah-james

Deborah is unsure how long she has left

William and Kate have been vocal supporters of Deborah and recently shared a special message with fans, writing: "Every now and then, someone captures the heart of the nation with their zest for life & tenacious desire to give back to society. @bowelbabe is one of those special people."

The pair concluded: "Deborah, our thoughts are with you, your family and your friends. Thank you for giving hope to so many who are living with cancer. W & C."

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