The Duke of Cambridge has given podcast host Deborah James a ladyship at their family home.
The 40-year-old, known online as Bowel Babe, was honored for her “tireless campaign” to raise awareness of colon cancer.
Posting pictures of William with herself and her family to Instagram, Dame Deborah said it was “such a special day”.
She wrote: “Prince William actually came to our family home today!!
“I am deeply honored that he joined us for afternoon tea and champagne where he not only spent considerable time speaking to all my family but also honored me with my damehood.
“It’s quite surreal to have a royal visit home and yes you can imagine the cleaning antics and the preparations got out of hand – but it was all irrelevant because William was so nice and put us all at ease .
“As President of Royal Marsden, he is clearly passionate about improving outcomes in oncology.
“It was such a special day for all my family that made memories for a lifetime. He’s always welcome back!”
Dame Deborah has raised more than £5.2million for Cancer Research UK through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving.
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After setting her original goal of £250,000, she has now increased her goal by more than 20 times.
Dame Deborah reached the £5million milestone on Friday after donations from more than 240,000 supporters including William and his wife Kate.
According to their Just Giving page, the aim is to “raise money to fund clinical trials and research into personalized medicine for cancer patients and to support campaigns to raise awareness of colorectal cancer.”
She said she was “completely speechless” after reaching the phenomenal crowd.
TV presenter Lorraine Kelly responded to the message, saying: “This is just wonderful – tears and laughter – love you @bowelbabe.”
The host of the popular BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C announced on Monday that she had moved into a home hospice to be treated for her colon cancer.
She wrote on Instagram: “No one knows how long I have left but I can’t walk, I sleep most of the time and most of the things I took for granted are pipe dreams.
“I know that we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world, or some magical new breakthrough, my body just can’t keep going.”
Dame Deborah, a former headmistress, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and has kept her more than 500,000 Instagram followers updated on her treatments.
On Thursday night, Number 10 confirmed James was to be made a Dame, saying: “The Queen has pleased to agree that Deborah James will be made a Dame.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “If ever an honor was well deserved, this is it.
“Deborah was an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage were a source of strength to so many people.
“Through her tireless campaigning and by openly sharing her experiences, she has not only aided in our fight against this horrible disease, but has also made sure that countless others are not alone with the Big C.
“I hope this recognition of Her Majesty – which is sure to be supported across the country – will bring some comfort to Deborah and her family at this difficult time.
“My thoughts are with them and Deborah should know that she has the love and gratitude of the country.”
Damehoods are usually bestowed by members of the royal family, including William, at investiture ceremonies held at royal palaces such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
In a personal tweet written by William and Kate this week, they said: “Every once in a while someone wins the heart of the nation with their zest for life and their stubborn desire to give back to society.
“@bowelbabe is one of those special people. Her tireless efforts to raise awareness of colon cancer and end the stigma of treatment are inspirational.
“We are so sad to hear your recent update but are delighted to support @bowelbabef which will benefit the @royalmarsdenNHS, among others.
“Deborah, our thoughts are with you, your family and friends. Thank you for bringing hope to so many cancer patients. TOILET.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/duke-of-cambridge-presents-deborah-james-with-damehood-at-family-home-41648442.html The Duke of Cambridge presents Deborah James with the maiden dignity at the family home