Prince William personally gives Deborah James damehood and stays for champagne

The podcast host said that Prince William joined her family for afternoon tea and champagne, as Correspondent Sejal Karia reports

Podcast host Deborah James has revealed she was honoured with a damehood by the Duke of Cambridge at her family home earlier on Friday.

James, 40, known online as Bowel Babe, has raised more than 16 times her original £250,000 goal for Cancer Research UK, after she set up a Just Giving page to raise money for clinical trials, research, and raising awareness of bowel cancer.

The milestone comes after Number 10 announced she had been honoured with a damehood for her “tireless campaigning” on the issue.

And James, 40, shared the royal surprise on Instagram, writing: “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."

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She added: “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!”

On Monday, the mother-of-two announced she had been moved to hospice at home care, adding that she did not know “how long I’ve got left”.

It was announced on Thursday that the former deputy headteacher had been honoured with a damehood for her “tireless campaigning”.

On Friday evening James reached the £5 million milestone with her Cancer Research fundraising initiative.

What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

According to the NHS, the three main symptoms of bowel cancer are:

  • persistent blood in your poo – that happens for no obvious reason or is associated with a change in bowel habit

  • a persistent change in your bowel habit – which is usually having to poo more and your poo may also become more runny

  • persistent lower, bloating or discomfort – that's always caused by eating and may be associated with loss of appetite and weight

However, the NHS says most people with these symptoms do not have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms such as a change in diet or haemorrhoids.

The NHS recommends seeing your GP if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer for three weeks or more.