Prince William makes a surprise visit to award Deborah James with her damehood after raising millions for cancer charity

The bowel cancer campaigner has exhausted all treatment options against the disease

Prince William
(Image credit: Getty)

Deborah James, also known as Bowel Babe, took to social media yesterday afternoon to reveal that Prince William made a surprise visit to her family home - in order to present her with her Damehood. 

Prince William moved heaven and earth' to ensure Deborah James' Damehood, he decided to hand the accolade to her personally.

Earlier this month the cancer campaigner, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, revealed that, after exhausting all treatment options against cancer, she had been 'moved to hospice at home care.'

Taking to Instagram Debroah posted a series of pictures and added, "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."

She went on to joke, "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."

Brave Deborah, who was in shock when she heard about her Damehood, went on to say, "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 lifetime. He’s welcome back any time!

When Deborah revealed, earlier this week, that she was receiving end of life care at home, she also announced the Bowel Babe fund for Cancer Research UK.

The money raised will help fund clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and support campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer. The donations have reached £5.5m in just a few days

When Deborah heard about the damehood she told the Sun, “OMFG, this is crazy. 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.”

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.