Prince William is continuing to follow in Princess Diana’s footsteps.
The Duke of Cambridge paid a visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, U.K., Wednesday to mark the start of construction of the Trust’s Oak Cancer Centre, 30 years after his mother did the same thing.
The Royal Marsden opened its doors in 1851. Today, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is a world-leading cancer centre specializing in cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education with two hospitals, one in Chelsea and the other in Sutton, Surrey.
William was appointed the president of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in 2007, while the Queen is Patron.
His Royal Highness delivered a short speech at the ground-breaking ceremony, before laying the new building’s foundation stone.
The visit comes three decades after his mother Diana, Princess of Wales laid a ceremonial foundation stone to commemorate the building of the Chelsea Wing at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea.
The Royal Marsden Hospital is one of the world's leading cancer centres today, having opened its doors in 1851.
This new state-of-the-art facility will allow the staff and patients that The Duke met on today's visit, to accelerate the development of new treatments for cancer. pic.twitter.com/FnDsKL0JiV
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 21, 2020
The Duke, who met patients and staff during the visit, also launched the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s public appeal to raise the final amount required to build the centre. The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has so far raised almost £62 million (almost $107 million) of the £70 million (almost $121 million) needed to complete the Oak Cancer Centre, which is due to open to patients in 2022.
The royal’s speech included, “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, 30 years after my mother did the very same thing at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea, commemorating the building of the Chelsea Wing.
“But before the official ground-breaking moment, I want to pause and acknowledge the unimaginable challenges that all those at the Marsden have faced this year,” William continued.
“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.”
William concluded, “Finally I want to say how proud I am as president of the Royal Marsden to be here today. 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.”