Prince William ‘delighted’ to follow in his mother’s footsteps

Watch: Prince William lays foundation stone at Royal Marsden Hospital

Prince William said he was “delighted” to follow in his mother’s footsteps as he laid a foundation stone at the country’s largest cancer hospital.

The Duke of Cambridge visited the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton to launch a fundraiser for the Oak Cancer Centre, a research and treatment facility, to help them raise the last £8m needed for the centre.

His visit came 30 years after his mother, Diana, laid the foundation stone at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea.

The Royal Marsden Trust, which operates in two London locations, with the Institute of Cancer Research, is Europe’s largest comprehensive cancer centre and sees tens of thousands of patients every year.

During his trip, William also praised the staff for facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oak Cancer Centre at The Royal Marsden hospital in central London on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Jack Hill / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACK HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William’s visit came 30 years after his mother visited the hospital’s Chelsea site. (Jack Hill/AFP)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oak Cancer Centre at The Royal Marsden hospital in central London on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Jack Hill / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACK HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William did the pointing on the stone which will form part of the new centre. (Jack Hill/AFP)
SUTTON, GREATER LONDON - OCTOBER 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks to staff and patients to mark the construction of the groundbreaking Oak cancer centre at Royal Marsden Hospital on October 21, 2020 in Sutton, Greater London. (Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The duke spoke to staff and patients during his visit. (Jack Hill – WPA Pool)

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He said: “Every time I visit the Marsden, I am struck not just by the significant advances that are being made in research and treatment, but also by the hope and belief embodied by each patient and member of staff, even in the darkest of times.

“I am personally delighted to be with you today to lay the foundation stone of the Oak Centre, thirty years after my mother did the very same thing at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea, commemorating the building of the Chelsea Wing.”

The duke added: “Earlier this morning I was privileged to meet patients who all spoke about the exceptional care they received, and how they felt safe in very difficult and often frightening times.”

“Despite the challenging times we are living in, it is so important we take the time to acknowledge the tremendous work that continues all around us. And that irrespective of the global pandemic, there remains hope for the many thousands of people dealing with the effects of cancer,” he said.

SUTTON, GREATER LONDON - OCTOBER 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks to staff and patients to mark the construction of the groundbreaking Oak cancer centre at Royal Marsden Hospital on October 21, 2020 in Sutton, Greater London. (Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William gave a speech at the hospital, referencing his mother’s visit three decades ago. (Jack Hill – WPA Pool)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meets patients and staff during a visit to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oak Cancer Centre at The Royal Marsden hospital in central London on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Jack Hill / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACK HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William spoke about the challenges of cancer treatment during COVID-19. (Jack Hill/AFP)

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Following the visit, the Kensington Royal Twitter account shared a picture of William on Wednesday and of Diana, in 1990 when she visited the Chelsea site.

It’s rare for Prince William to make

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Prince William Follows in Princess Diana’s Footsteps by Laying Foundation Stone for Cancer Hospital

WPA-Rota/Press Association Images Prince William

Prince William followed in the footsteps of his late mother Princess Diana on Wednesday by laying a foundation stone at a cancer hospital.

The royal took part in the ceremony at the Royal Marsden in Sutton, Surrey, to start the building the Oak Cancer Centre, a state-of-the-art research and treatment facility. It comes 30 years after his mother Diana, who died in 1997, carried out a similar task by laying the ceremonial foundation stone commemorating the Chelsea Wing at The Royal Marsden in central London.

The hospital’s Oak Cancer Centre will place over 400 researchers under the same roof as patients, helping to accelerate the development of new treatments for cancer.

In a speech, William, 38, said, “I am personally delighted to be with you today to lay the foundation stone of the Oak Centre, 30 years after my mother did the very same thing at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea, commemorating the building of the Chelsea Wing.”

WPA-Rota/Press Association Images Prince William

WPA-Rota/Press Association Images Prince William

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He went on to “acknowledge the unimaginable challenges that all those at the Marsden have faced this year,” during the coronavirus pandemic. “The knock-on effects of coronavirus have been felt widely, but the impact on cancer treatment for patients up and down the country has been one of the most acute and challenging.”

During his visit, he met a small group of patients to hear how clinical trials at The Royal Marsden have transformed their lives and to talk about their experiences of receiving treatment during the pandemic.

Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images Princess Diana at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, London

“Earlier this morning I was privileged to meet patients who all spoke about the exceptional care they received, and how they felt safe in very difficult and often frightening times,” he added.

“As well as providing outstanding care, The Royal Marsden continues to be at the cutting edge of cancer research globally. As we heard from Alex, developments in cancer research made here have changed the face of cancer treatment across the world, giving thousands of people a future.”

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William said he was “delighted” to officially break ground on a new building which “will represent a new generation of research-led patient treatment and care. It will bring together some of the world’s best minds to develop new treatments to save and improve the lives of cancer patients throughout the U.K. and around the world.”

WPA-Rota/Press Association Images

The prince launched the private fundraising phase of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s appeal in November 2015. It has brought in around $80 million. He has now kicked off the launch of the public fundraising which hopes to bring in the last $10 million

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