Following in Diana's footsteps
Prince William became president of The Royal Marsden in May 2007, a position previously held by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. It was a cause that was close to his mother’s heart and he said he felt proud to be able to carry on her work. He said “The Royal Marsden does an extraordinary job in treating thousands of cancer patients every year. The standards of care and compassion of its staff are unsurpassed in the world.”
Royal visits and openings
In 2008 he visited The Royal Marsden’s Chelsea hospital just days after the fire. As well as seeing the extent of the damage caused, he also spent time with Royal Marsden staff and around 40 patients who had been moved to the Royal Brompton hospital. Later that year he visited again to open our new Endoscopy Unit, a purpose-built facility for the early detection of gastrointestinal cancers.
He returned again in September 2011 with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, to open the new Oak Centre for Children and Young People. This was their first public engagement in the UK after their marriage. The two of them spent hours speaking to patients and staff in the centre and were clearly impressed with the new facilities. The Duke of Cambridge recalled his memories of the old Children’s Unit, where he did his work experience nearly six years previously.
Prince William had shown his support for the children and young people’s centre as early as 2009 when he was interviewed by Alice Marples, a young patient at The Royal Marsden. He spoke about his childhood dream of becoming a policeman and his charity work, and the interview was broadcast on BBC’s Newsround.
More recently, the Duke of Cambridge helped launch the ten10 campaign by starring in a specially made film. In the film he said “I am extremely proud to be President of The Royal Marsden, an incredible hospital and a world-class cancer centre carrying out groundbreaking work influencing the treatment of cancer patients all over the UK.”