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Prince William 'honours' Deborah James with Damehood at afternoon tea as fundraiser reaches £5m

Yorkshire Live logo Yorkshire Live 14/05/2022 Abigail O'Leary & Sarah Leonard

Deborah James was left feeling 'honoured' after a 'surreal' visit by Prince William at her home to present her Damehood.

The pair also enjoyed a champagne afternoon tea, reports the Mirror. Deborah, 40, otherwise known online as Bowel Babe after she campaigned to raise awareness of the disease, has raised £5m for Cancer Research UK, which is much more than her original £250,000 goal.

She received donations from more than 250,000 supporters, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She shared images of William's visit on Instagram, captioned: "Prince William actually came to our family house today!!"

"I am utterly honoured 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 honoured me with my Damehood. 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.

"He is clearly passionate about improving oncology outcomes as the President of the Royal Marsden. It was such a special day for my whole family, making memories to last a life time. He’s welcome back any time!"

Prince William enjoyed champagne afternoon tea at home with Deborah and her family © Deborah James Prince William enjoyed champagne afternoon tea at home with Deborah and her family

Prince William reportedly offered words of advice and guidance to her two children, Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, as well as talking to her husband Seb, brother Ben and sister Sarah. Deborah's JustGiving page was set up to "raise money to fund clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer".

The star, who is receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer, recently revealed doctors do not know how much longer she has left to live. After being named a Dame, the campaigner said it felt "crazy".

She added: "I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away and feel incredibly honoured. I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in."

Deborah smiles for the camera with her Damehood © Instagram Deborah smiles for the camera with her Damehood

In a statement, Downing Street said the Queen was "pleased to approve the honour of Damehood" be conferred upon Deborah. Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the mother-of-two for her work helping others with cancer.

Johnson said: "If ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it. Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people."

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He added: "Through her tireless campaigning and by so openly sharing her experience she has not only helped in our fight against this terrible disease, she has ensured countless others with the Big C have not felt alone.

"I hope this recognition from Her Majesty - backed I'm sure by the whole country - will provide some comfort to Deborah and her family at this difficult time. My thoughts are with them and Deborah should know she has the country's love and gratitude."

You can visit Deborah's Bowel Babe fundraising page here.

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