The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pay tribute to Dame Deborah James: ‘Unfalteringly brave’

The cancer campaigner died on Tuesday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid tribute to Dame Deborah James following the “heartbreaking news” of her death.

Prince William and Kate Middleton wrote on their official Twitter account: “Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on.”

James, 40, who was first diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016, died on Tuesday while surrounded by her family. Her death was announced in a joint statement by her family, who said she “passed away peacefully”.

The Duke paid the prolific cancer campaigner a visit to her home in May to present her with her damehood and took photographs with her family to mark the occasion.

At the time, James thanked the royal for “going above and beyond to make a very special memory happen”.

William later said that visiting James was “an amazing moment” and that he “loved meeting her, she was fantastic”.

Speaking to doctors and nurses at The Royal Marsden hospital who were involved in James’ care, the Duke added: “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 also thanked the medical staff for “caring for her”, and said James had “always spoken very highly about her care”.

Announcing her death on Instagram on Tuesday night, James’ family wrote: “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.”

They added that she was “an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work”.

Celebrities and other public figures have also paid tribute to the You, Me and the Big C podcast host, including prime minister Boris Johnson, Lorraine Kelly, Adele Roberts, and Genevieve Edwards, chief executive at Bowel Cancer UK.

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