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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined the tributes for "unfalteringly brave" Dame Deborah James following the "heartbreaking news" of the bowel cancer campaigner's death yesterday.
Dame Deborah's death was confirmed on Tuesday night as her loved ones shared the sad news that the mum-of-two had died at the age of 40 via a statement on social media, after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.
Sharing their tributes across their social media channels this morning, Prince William and Kate Middleton described the mum-of-two as inspirational and brave and sent their well wishes to her family.
"We are so sad to hear the news about Dame Deborah," the statement shared on their Instagram Stories and Twitter read.
"Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones."
Read more: Bowel cancer signs and symptoms
On the royal couple's official Instagram page the duke and duchess repeated their tribute on stories.
Underneath an image of the late star, they added: "Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on."
We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah. Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones.
Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on. W & C
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) June 29, 2022
Widely known as 'Bowel Babe' through her campaigning work, Dame Deborah's family said in a statement that she had died peacefully on Tuesday surrounded by loved ones.
They described her as the "most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy", adding: "Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.
Watch: Bowel cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James dies aged 40
"We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund.
"And a few final things from Deborah…’find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.’”
The You, Me and The Big C presenter was made a dame on 12 May with Boris Johnson hailing her "honesty, warmth and courage".
The following day, she was presented with the honour in person by Prince William, who spent time with her and her family, where she was receiving end of life care.
The duke made a special trip to Dame Deborah’s home where he presented her with the Damehood and enjoyed tea and champagne with the campaigner and her family.
Following the special occasion Dame Deborah shared some pictures on Instagram and 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.
"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!"
What a glorious afternoon to make memories for a lifetime! What an generous honour, to have William in my family home, with champange giving me a Damehood. Not sure life could get more surreal. But happy. @KensingtonRoyal you are welcome for tea at ours anytime! @BowelbabeF £5mil pic.twitter.com/oO4HuA9ZRO
— Deborah James (@bowelbabe) May 13, 2022
She also wrote on Twitter: "What a glorious afternoon to make memories for a lifetime! What a generous honour, to have William in my family home, with champagne giving me a Damehood. Not sure life could get more surreal. But happy. @KensingtonRoyal you are welcome for tea at ours anytime! @BowelbabeF £5mil."