Prince William has spoken about meeting Dame Deborah James after he awarded her a Damehood for her campaign work earlier in the month.
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The Duke of Cambridge made his comments as he donned scrubs and visited the Royal Marsden Hospital in London in order to watch a cancer patient undergo some cutting-edge treatment from a robotic surgeon. William said her Damehood had been an "amazing" experience for her family, as well as nursing staff who had cared for her and joked: "As she put it, she made bowel cancer sexy."
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Speaking to Dr Nicos Fotiadis, who had treated Dame Deborah, about meeting her family, he said: "It was an amazing moment for them. I loved meeting her, she was fantastic."
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And speaking specifically about the campaigner, he shared: "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."
He then told chief nurse Mairead Griffin, deputy chief nurse Jo Waller and ward sister Rowena Trono who also cared for the campaigner: "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."
William was visiting the Royal Marsden Hospital
It appears that Dame Deborah hadn't lost her sense of humour when she spoke to the royal, with William joking: "She was saying basically 'I can now drink, I can now drink this is brilliant'.
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"She was triple parked and she kept making a joke about how many drinks she could get lined up in front of her."
In a heartbreaking message earlier this month, the former Sun journalist revealed that she had headed into at-home hospice care as a result of her bowel cancer.
William awarded Deborah a Damehood earlier this month
In an emotional post, she shared: "The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn't playing ball.
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"My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I'm not in pain and spending time with them."
She finished: "Nobody knows how long I've got left but I'm not able to walk, I'm sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams."
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