Dame Deborah James would have been "so proud" of Catherine, Princess of Wales for her "courageous" cancer announcement, according to her family.

Dame Deborah James would have been so proud of the Princess of Wales, according to her family (pictured with Prince William in May 2022)

Dame Deborah James would have been so proud of the Princess of Wales, according to her family (pictured with Prince William in May 2022)

The 42-year-old royal - who is married to Prince William and has Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and five-year-old Prince Louis with him - has been absent from public duties since January and announced on Friday (22.03.24) evening that she is undergoing “preventative” chemotherapy for cancer.

Now, the parents of the late journalist - who died in 2022 at the age of 40 following a five-year battle with bowel cancer - have sent their "love" to the royal family and commended the princess for speaking out.

Heather, 66, and Alistair James, 68, told The Sun newspaper: “Kate, William and their family are in our thoughts, and we send all our love from our family to theirs.

“Deborah would be so proud. The Princess of Wales has shown incredible courage in speaking out so publicly about her treatment.

“It takes huge bravery to do so, but her bravery will help millions of cancer patients and their families face this horrible disease.

“What’s more, in being so open and honest, Kate will undoubtedly encourage many more people who are living with potential symptoms of cancer, to seek medical help. In doing so, she will save lives.”

Heather and Alistair added that their late daughter would want to send the Princess of Wales a message of "rebellious hope", in a nod to her famous mantra that became the slogan associated with her campaign work.

They said: "We know if Deborah were here to send Kate a message, she would tell the Princess of Wales to hold on to rebellious hope.

“Deborah was a firm believer in the power of hope, and given how many times she beat the odds to survive, rebellious hope became her mantra.

“We have no doubt her positive mindset helped her keep going, and gave us five years of precious memories together."

Former deputy headteacher Deborah rose to fame following her diagnosis when she began hosting the BBC Radio Radio 5 Live podcast 'You, Me and the Big C' alongside fellow activists Lauren Mahon and the late Rachael Bland.

She then began raising awareness for the disease through her newspaper column for The Sun and worked extensively with the ITV1 programme 'Lorraine'.

By the time of her death, she had raised millions for Cancer Research through the Bowelbabe fund.

Just one month before she passed away, Deborah was awarded a Damehood for services to charity and cancer awareness, and Prince William made a special visit to her home to present her with the honour.

Meanwhile, Catherine announced her own battle with cancer during a televised address to the nation following weeks of speculation on her whereabouts.

She said: "I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I've been recovering from surgery. It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family. But I've had a fantastic medical team who've taken great care of me for which I'm so grateful.

"In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London. And at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous.

"The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation on cancer had been present.

"This of course, came as a huge shock. And Wiliam and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.

"As you can imagine, this has taken time, it has taken me time to recover for major surgery in order to start my treatment."