Prince William enjoyed a rare meal out with friends at an exclusive Mayfair private members’ club on Friday – hours after presenting a Damehood to ‘Bowel Babe’ Deborah James for her astonishing fundraising efforts.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, was photographed leaving Oswald’s in central London at 11pm last night after a three-hour catch up with a friend.
Oswald’s is the most exclusive of London’s private members’ clubs, with the Duchess of Cornwall and Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson among those who frequent the venue.
William was without the Duchess of Cambridge for his outing – but accompanied by three security guards.
He dressed smartly in a chequered blue suit jacket, dark trousers and a light blue shirt.
The Duke’s night out came hours after he travelled to BBC podcaster Deborah James’ family home to present her with a Damehood for her fundraising, which has seen £5.7million donated to Cancer Research UK in days.
Prince William enjoyed a rare meal out with friends at an exclusive Mayfair private members’ club on Friday
Prince William meets with Deborah James to award her her Damehood for her tireless campaigning and fundraising for cancer research
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, was photographed leaving Oswald’s in central London at 11pm last night after a three-hour catch up with a friend
Oswald’s, named after owner Robin Birley’s grandfather, is a club for both men and women – with a focus on wine.
The private members’ club is thought to be the best for wine connoisseurs, where guests can either cellar their own wine, or buy in house, before enjoying them in the ground floor restaurant or on the small rear terrace.
Ahead of William’s outing on Friday, Dame Deborah, 40, revealed her ‘surreal’ meeting with the Duke via her Instagram page, where she uploaded several pictures of the Duke of Cambridge with her and her family.
The cancer-stricken mother-of-two told her more than 630,000 followers how ‘kind’ William ‘made everyone feel at ease’, adding that he was ‘welcome back any time.’
Dame Deborah (centre, with husband Sebastien Bowen left, while children Eloise, 12 and Hugo, 14, back) told her more than 630,000 Instagram followers how ‘kind’ William (right) ‘made everyone feel at ease’, adding that he was ‘welcome back any time.’
William was without the Duchess of Cambridge for his outing – but accompanied by three security guards
He dressed smartly in a chequered blue suit jacket, dark trousers and a light blue shirt for his visit to Oswald’s in London
The Duke’s night out came hours after he travelled to BBC podcaster Deborah James’ family home to present her with a Damehood
Dame Deborah wrote: ‘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 said having a royal ‘pop in’ was surreal and joked that the cleaning antics before his arrival were ‘off the scale’.
‘But it was all irrelevant because William was so kind and he put us all at ease,’ she added. ‘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 actually came to our house!’: Deborah shares pictures from the Duke of Cambridge’s visit on Friday, in which he awarded her her Damehood
Deborah James (pictured) was honoured with a Damehood after raising millions of pounds for charity since Monday as she revealed she was receiving end-of-life care
The former headteacher (pictured right, with children Eloise, 12, Hugo, 14 and husband Sebastien Bowen) was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and has kept her more than 500,000 Instagram followers up to date with her treatments
On Thursday night, Number 10 confirmed that James is to be made a dame, saying: ‘The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Damehood be conferred upon Deborah James.’ Pictured: Deborah James (left) with her family on Mother’s Day
Earlier on Friday, the BBC podcaster said she was ‘completely lost for words’ after raising more than £5million for her Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK. This total surpassed £5.7million on Saturday.
Having set her original target at £250,000, she has now raised more than 20 times her goal.
The £5million milestone came just hours after she was made a dame by the Queen for her commitment to raising awareness and funds for bowel cancer following her shock diagnosis in 2016.
On Monday, Dame Deborah revealed she did not know how long she had left to live after she stopped treatment and decided to begin hospice-at-home care.
She is spending her remaining time with her family at her parents’ home.
This week, Dame Deborah (above with Sebastian Bowen) revealed she did not know how long she had left to live after she stopped treatment and decided to begin hospice-at-home care
Deborah James has written letters and bought gifts for her children Hugo, 14, and daughter, Eloise, 12, and wants to cuddle them for the last time before she dies
Dame Deborah has so far raised an astonishing £5.6million for Cancer Research UK of her original goal of £250,000
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier paid tribute to cancer-stricken BBC podcaster Deborah James’ fundraising
On Thursday night, Number 10 confirmed that Deborah was to be made a dame, saying: ‘The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Damehood be conferred upon Deborah James.’
Prime Minister Boris 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.
Deborah James’ announcement that she is moving into hospice care in full:
In an emotional post shared to Instagram, Deborah said her body ‘was not playing ball’ and she was spending ‘most of the day sleeping’
‘The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball. My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them.
‘Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.
‘In over 5 years of writing about how I thought it would be my final Christmas, how I wouldn’t see my 40th birthday nor see my kids go to secondary school – I never envisaged writing the one where I would actually say goodbye.
‘I think it’s been the rebellious hope in me.
‘But I don’t think anyone can say the last 6 months has exactly been kind! It’s all heartbreaking to be going through but I’m surrounded by so much love that if anything can help me through I hope that will.
‘I always knew there was one thing I always wanted to do before I died. I have always over the years raised as much awareness and money for the charities that are closest to me. @cr_uk @royalmarsden @bowelcanceruk
‘As a result, the @bowelbabefund is being established and I’d love nothing more than for you to help it flourish. Please visit bowelbabe.org for all the info and to donate (link in Bio).
‘All I ask if you ever read a column, followed my Instagram, listened to the podcast or saw me dressed as a poo for no reason. Please buy me a drink to see me out this world, by donating the cost to @bowelbabefund which will enable us to raise funds for further life saving research into cancer. To give more Deborah’s more time!
‘Right now for me it’s all about taking it a day at a time, step by step and being grateful for another sunrise. My whole family are around me and we will dance through this together, sunbathing and laughing (I’ll cry!!) at every possible moment!
‘You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey. No regrets.
‘Enjoy life x Deborah’
‘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.’
Deborah revealed her shock at being made a Dame, telling The Sun: ‘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.’
Dame Deborah’s children Hugo and Eloise said they were ‘speechless’ and ‘so, so proud’, while husband Seb said a Damehood was ‘something that she would never have dreamt of but it is so truly deserved’.
Damehoods and knighthoods are usually listed in the New Year or Queen’s Birthday Honours, but in exceptional circumstances some are announced at other times.
The teacher-turned-podcaster has moved millions after announcing in a heartbreaking message on Monday that active treatment for her bowel cancer was stopping.
The mother-of two is preparing to spend her final hours on her parents’ lawn surrounded by family, drinking Champagne, having been told by her hospice nurses: ‘You are dying, you can drink what you like.’
In a tearful interview, she said: ‘The one thing my family know is I am petrified of being alone. I don’t want to die alone.’
And when asked about the end of her life approaching she said: ‘I have moments when I just sob uncontrollably, but I can’t spend my last few days crying, it would be such a waste. So I’m trying to compartmentalise my death.’
She said she has started her ‘to-do death list’ to support son Hugo, 14, and daughter, Eloise, 12, when she is gone, and has urged her husband Sebastien to find love, with the caveat: ‘Don’t be taken for a ride, don’t marry a bimbo’.
Dame Deborah said she has written letters for her children to help them with their first dates and wedding days, and will buy Hugo ‘a nice pen or wallet or cufflinks’ and Eloise ‘Tiffany bracelets and earrings’ to remember her – as well as some presents and postcards from her for the future.
Her funeral is also planned where she will be cremated, but she hopes her ashes will be kept in the family kitchen ‘for a while’ before being scattered.
Steve Bland, co-host of the You, Me And The Big C podcast alongside Deborah James, praised the bowel cancer campaigner after her research fundraising initiative reached £4million earlier in the week.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, he said: ‘It is amazing, but this is what Deborah does. Deborah deals in the extraordinary. This is what she has done for five years.
‘Everyone is focusing on the last five days, but actually Deb has been doing this for five years, ever since she was diagnosed with incurable cancer five years ago, and since then she has just been trying to help people.
‘She has been banging the drum over and over and over and over – on bowel cancer symptoms, working hard to get drugs approved that she knew would help her but help loads of other people too.
‘While the last five days have been amazing – the £4million is incredible – there are people all over the country walking around enjoying their children’s birthday parties because she has basically saved their lives.’
Deborah was diagnosed ‘late’ with incurable bowel cancer in 2016. After sharing her experiences on living with the disease on social media, Deborah became known as the ‘Bowel Babe’ and began writing a column for the Sun.
The mother-of-two has spent months recovering after she almost died in January due to a medical emergency
The mother-of-two, who has faced a challenging six months with her cancer treatment, said she felt ‘heartbroken’
BBC podcast host Deborah James, who has incurable bowel cancer, revealed in April after she was discharged after more than a month in hospital. Pictured, leaving the Royal Marsden Hospital
In the summer, the mother-of-two was told she had an aggressive new tumour that had wrapped itself around her bile duct – requiring a life-saving stay in hospital – and a stent fitted to stop her liver from failing.
The stent fitted to stop her liver failing ‘stopped working’ in December.
She explained to her followers at the time how hopes at having a ‘quick replacement operation’ had turned into a ‘nightmare’.
She said: ‘I’m now at the mercy of hopefully some super ‘magic medicine miracle’ – but then I always have been, and any chance is a chance right? All I ever say Is all I want is hope and options.’
In 2018, Deborah joined Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland to present the award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C on Radio 5 Live.
Bland tragically died of breast cancer on September 5th that year; her husband Steve Bland now co-presents the show.
HOW DEPUTY HEAD TURNED SOCIAL MEDIA STAR HAS TRANSFORMED BOWEL CANCER AWARENESS
In 2018, Deborah (left) joined Lauren Mahon (front) and Rachael Bland (right) to present the award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C on Radio 5 Live. Bland tragically died of breast cancer on September 5th that year; her husband Steve Bland now co-presents the show
- In December 2016, the West London mother-of-two, a deputy head, was diagnosed ‘late’ with incurable bowel cancer
- After sharing her experiences on living with the disease on social media, Deborah became known as the ‘Bowel Babe’
- In 2018, she became one of three presenters on Radio 5 Live’s You, Me and the Big C, which was conceived by her late co-host Rachael Bland
- On September 5th 2018, Welsh journalist and presenter Bland, diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, died at the age of 40
- Deborah and her co-host Lauren Mahon continue to present the show, with Steve Bland, Rachael’s husband, joining the duo
- On social media and in her column for the Sun newspaper, Deborah has documented the many chemo, radiotherapy sessions and surgery she’s had since
During her treatment, Deborah told followers on Instagram ‘By my general lack of being on here (dancing!), that Things have moved (in the wrong direction) very quickly cancer wise.’ Pictured: Deborah James undergoing a scan at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London
- In 2019, she had a procedure known as CyberKnife, a highly targeted form of radiotherapy to attack an inoperable lymph node close to her liver
- The pandemic’s impact on cancer services saw her campaign for care to continue as normal and, earlier this year, she launched the ITV’s Lorraine’s ‘No Butts’ campaign, raising awareness on bowel cancer symptoms
- Since last year, she has been taking new experimental drugs as part of a trial after her oncology team gave her the green light to do so
- August, Deborah revealed that scans she’s had in recent days have revealed her cancer has gone in the ‘wrong direction very quickly’
- She told followers she would be taking a break on social media over the weekend to ‘snuggle’ with her family ahead of more scans
- The mother-of-two said a new ‘rapidly-growing’ tumour near her liver had wrapped itself around her bowel
- On October 1, Deborah celebrates her 40th birthday
- By October 18, the mother-of-two told her followers her chemotherapy is working
- Days later, she was rushed to A&E with ‘spiking 40 degree temperatures’
- In November, she reveals she is unable to walk for more than 20 minutes and remains ‘very weak’
- By December, Deborah said she was ‘not sure what her options were’ after her liver stent ‘stopped working’
- In January, she had five operations in 10 days after nearly dying in an acute medical emergency
- January 25, Deborah returns home from hospital after three weeks
- March 14, the mother-of-two is back in hospital as an in-patient after suffering from septic infection
- In April, she concerned fans with snaps after suffering ‘a rough few days’
- April 14, the mother-of-two tells fans she has been discharged from hospital but calls the situation ‘very tough’
- April 27, she tells Lorraine that she has spent ’80 per cent’ of the year in hospital
- May 9 – Deborah announces she has moved to hospice care