Prince William meets cancer patients at Royal Marsden's Sutton hospital opening

  • Watch a montage of Prince Wililam opening the new Sutton facility

The Prince of Wales met with cancer patients on Thursday as he attended the opening of a £70 million centre to combat the disease.

William’s visit to the Royal Marsden’s Sutton hospital marked the official opening of the Oak Cancer Centre, a research and treatment facility.

He followed in the footsteps of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who opened a children’s cancer unit at the hospital in 1993.

In a speech during the ceremony, the prince said: “I’m delighted to be here with you today to celebrate the opening of a remarkable treatment and research facility that will transform the lives of cancer patients.

“The Oak Cancer Centre is a major milestone in both the Royal Marsden’s history and the future of early diagnosis.”

The Prince of Wales spent the day talking to patients at the Oak Cancer Centre research and treatment facility. Credit: PA Images

He added that the project “demonstrates what can be achieved when global philanthropy works in partnership with the NHS”.

“It is this deep-rooted history of philanthropic giving that enables the Royal Marsden to continue their extraordinary efforts to transform the lives of cancer patients,” he said.

The new centre, funded by the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, provides a state-of-the-art research and treatment facility for 400 researchers under the same roof as those receiving treatment.

It will focus on developing new treatments for cancer and spotting the disease in its early stages, when patients have the best chances of survival.

Prince William in his role as President of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. Credit: PA Images.

William - who laid the foundation stone for the centre in 2020 - became president of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in 2007.

He took on the role of his mother, the late princess, who held the same position from 1989 until her death in 1997.

During his visit, William met with cancer researchers and patients, including 38-year-old Emma Bishop from London.

The married mother-of-two was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last year which had spread all over her body.

Prince William gave a speech to staff at the Royal Marsden's newest centre. Credit: PA Images

She said: “I’ve never smoked, I was dying, and we were terrified.

”Yet six months after starting treatment at The Royal Marsden, there was no evidence of disease beyond her original tumour.

Ms Bishop said: “The Royal Marsden has saved my life. A year ago, I didn’t think I’d live, but now I have hope as there are more treatment options for me and so many other cancer patients on the horizon.”

While receiving treatment, Ms Bishop ran the 2022 London Marathon, raising £100,000 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

She described her efforts as “one of my greatest achievements” and “more than I ever thought possible”.

Chief executive of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust Dame Cally Palmer said: “This Centre will help the hospital to go faster and further in the delivery of research and cancer treatments and provide the very best environments for our patients.”