Prince William and Kate Middleton have expressed their sorrow after the passing of Dame Deborah James, the Bowelbabe campaigner.
James’ death comes shortly after Prince William presented her with her Damehood on May 13, the Duke joined Deborah and her family for tea and it was revealed he was the driving force behind her receiving the gong.
At the time Deborah shared her experience with the royal online: “Prince William actually came to our family house today!! I am utterly honored that he joined us for afternoon tea and champagne, where he not only spent a generous amount of time talking to my whole family but also honored me with my Damehood.
We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah. Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones.— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) June 29, 2022
Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on. W & C
“It’s quite surreal having a royal pop in at home, and yes you can imagine the cleaning antics and preparation went off the scale – but it was all irrelevant because William was so kind and he put us all at ease.”
Prince William and Kate offered their prayers through their social media channels, reading: “We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah. Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones. Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on. W & C.”
Dame Deborah, unfortunately, passed away aged just 40 earlier this Tuesday, her family confirmed the sorrowful news in a statement: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.”
“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives,” continued the post.
“Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.”
“We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund. Thank you for playing your part in her journey, you are all incredible,” it continued, alongside a picture of Deborah in a white dress posing in front of a gorgeous sunset.
“And a few final things from Deborah… ‘find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.’ (Shared with Deborah’s permission),” they concluded.
Just a few days before, Dame Deborah shared the heartbreaking news that she was receiving end-of-life care for her bowel cancer and that she didn’t know how long she had left. The Cambridges reacted to the unfortunate news online, tweeting:”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.
“Deborah, our thoughts are with you, your family and your friends. Thank you for giving hope to so many who are living with cancer.”
An inspiration to many, Dame Deborah was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer back in 2016, sharing her experience with her followers online. Deborah has raised more than £6.2 million with her Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK. It’s understood William and Kate made an anonymous donation to her fund.