Prince William and Kate Middleton Honor Cancer Campaigner Dame Deborah James After Her Passing

James sadly died of bowel cancer at 40.

The Duke & Duchess Of Cambridge Mark Windrush Day
(Image credit: Photo by WPA Pool / Getty)

Dame Deborah James, a journalist and campaigner who stole the U.K. and the world's hearts with her work as the Bowel Babe, sadly passed away on June 28 at the age of 40.

James had been diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer in 2016, and went on to raise awareness for the disease through her podcast and media appearances, raise funds for charity, pen the aptly named memoir slash self-help book F*** You Cancer (opens in new tab), and generally make bowel cancer "sexy," in her own words.

Along with millions of people in the U.K. and beyond, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were devastated to hear the news of James' passing. They honored her with their words on Twitter.

"We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah. Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones," they wrote.

"Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on. W & C"

See more

In the months before her death, Prince William had conferred James with her damehood in recognition of her amazing work.

The prince visited James at home to present the award to her, and has previously commented on what a beautiful occasion it was.

"I was very honored to be able to speak to her, it felt like a very personal family moment... it was a glorious day as well," he said (via the Independent).

Commenting on the family's champagne celebration, the duke painted a beautiful picture of James' lightheartedness and humor.

"She was saying basically, 'I can now drink, I can now drink, this is brilliant.'

"She was triple parked and she kept making a joke about how many drinks she could get lined up in front of her."

While announcing James' death on Instagram, the person posting shared James' life advice, and you're going to want to heed it. "Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope," she said. "And finally, check your poo—it could just save your life."

A post shared by Deborah James (@bowelbabe) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.