(CU)_Britain’s honours system and titles are among the world’s oldest, having evolved over more than 650 years. The current system is made up of six orders of chivalry and four orders of merit. They include damehoods and knighthoods, which are usually announced as part of the New Year Honours or the Queen’s Birthday Honours. However, some are announced at other times of the year, in exception circumstances, as was the case for Podcaster Deborah James.
The 40-year-old host of the BBC’s You, Me and the Big C had her damehood conferred by Prince William at her family home earlier this month. Ever since she revealed that she is receiving end-of-life care for her bowel cancer, the mother-of-two has raised more than £5 million in donations for the Bowelbabe Fund for cancer research. The fund was launched with an initial goal of raising £250,000 to pay for research on personalised medicine for cancer patients and to support campaigns that are raising awareness of bowel cancer.
James took to Instagram to celebrate her recent honour by the Royal Family, saying Prince William’s visit to her family home was “surreal”, adding that the younger royal was “clearly passionate” about improving oncology outcomes. “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 wrote in her latest Instagram post. “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,” the former deputy headteacher added. “It was such a special day for my whole family, making memories to last a life time. He’s welcome back any time!”