KEY POINTS

  • Kate Middleton and Prince William paid tribute to BBC host Dame Deborah James via Twitter Wednesday
  • James died at age 40 Tuesday following her years-long battle with bowel cancer
  • The Duke of Cambridge visited James at her family home last month to present her with a Damehood honor

Kate Middleton and Prince William are mourning the death of BBC host Dame Deborah James.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a rare personal note via Twitter to pay tribute to James, who died at age 40 Tuesday following her years-long battle with bowel cancer, People reported.

"We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah. Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones," Prince William and Middleton wrote in the statement posted Wednesday. "Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on."

The royal couple signed off with their initials "W" and "C" to indicate that the message was personal.

James' passing was first announced Tuesday via a heartfelt tribute posted to the late podcaster's Instagram page.

"We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family," the message read.

James, who was a teacher before she began hosting her popular BBC podcast "You, Me & The Big C: Putting the Can in Cancer" in 2018, raised millions of dollars for charity with her campaign to raise awareness of bowel cancer, The Guardian reported.

She began blogging about her diagnosis under the name Bowelbabe in 2017 and later released a book titled "F--- You Cancer: How to Face the Big C, Live Your Life and Still Be Yourself."

"We are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives," the message continued. "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."

Her family thanked everyone who had been part of her journey. They also shared a message from James, which said: "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."

Last month, Prince William visited James at her family home to present her with a Damehood honor.

She shared snaps of the Duke of Cambridge's visit on her Instagram account, writing in the caption that she was "utterly honored that he joined [them] for afternoon tea and champagne" and spent a generous amount of time with them.

"It was such a special day for my whole family, making memories to last a lifetime. He's welcome back any time!" James added.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart after the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen at St Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. Henry Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images
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