Our President

HRH The Duke of Cambridge has been the President of The Royal Marsden since May 2007, a position previously held by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duke has visited the hospital on a number of occasions in both a public and private capacity, most recently in May 2017 when he visited the Radiotherapy Department and Oak Centre for Children and Young People. 

4 May 2007

Prince William was appointed president of the hospital, a position previously held by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. It was a cause that was close to his mother’s heart and he said he was proud to be able to carry on her work at The Royal Marsden. He said: “The Royal Marsden does an extraordinary job in treating thousands of cancer patients every year. The standards of care and compassion of its staff are unsurpassed in the world. I am, therefore, delighted and honoured to become President of The Royal Marsden and will do whatever I can to support its innovative and vital work.”

4 January 2008

Prince William visited The Royal Marsden, Chelsea just days after the fire. He was shown around the areas that the fire had damaged, which included theatres. He also visited Royal Marsden staff and around 40 patients who had been moved to The Royal Brompton NHS Foundation Trust, just around the corner from The Royal Marsden.

6 May 2008

Prince William opened the hospital’s new Endoscopy Unit. He met Professor David Cunningham, Head of the Gastrointestinal Unit, and Jag Grewal, Senior Sister Theatres, who led the tour of the unit and explained that the purpose-built facility contained state-of-the-art equipment to help in the early detection of GI cancers. Following his tour, he then met with patients and staff on Wilson Ward for a private hour-long visit, which patients said they thoroughly enjoyed.

18 March 2009

Prince William showed his support for plans to build a new hospital unit at The Royal Marsden for children and teenagers with cancer during an interview with a young cancer patient at Clarence House for the BBC’s Newsround programme. In the interview with Alice Marples, who was being treated at the hospital, Prince William spoke about his childhood dream of becoming a police officer, and his charity work. He told Alice: “For a very long time my mother was involved with The Royal Marsden, and she had a very close connection with them. So I wanted to follow in her footsteps, in that sense, and help.”

29 September 2011

The Oak Centre for Children and Young People in Sutton was officially opened by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess spent nearly two hours speaking to patients and staff in the centre and were clearly impressed with the new facilities. The Duke of Cambridge recalled his memories of the old Children’s Unit when he did his work experience there nearly six years ago. He said he was honoured to open the new £18 million centre and was delighted to see the final results.

21 January 2013

HRH The Duke of Cambridge helped launch a new charity campaign for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity by starring in a specially made film. The Duke personally supported the charity’s fundraising campaign Ten10 – a decade of innovation at The Royal Marsden, which launched on Monday 21 January. In the film he said: "I am extremely proud to be President of The Royal Marsden, an incredible hospital and a world-class cancer centre carrying out groundbreaking work influencing the treatment of cancer patients all over the UK".

7 November 2013

The Duke hailed the “incredible” work of two surgical teams as he watched live operations at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea. The Duke met Mr Stuart James and his team to witness a DIEP flap breast reconstruction, and Mr Pardeep Kumar and his team to witness an open partial cystectomy and ureteric reimplantation (the removal of a tumour in the bladder). The Duke also visited the hospital’s CyberKnife radiotherapy unit.

13 May 2014

A gala dinner was held at Windsor Castle to celebrate the innovative work of The Royal Marsden. The event brought world leading consultants and friends of The Royal Marsden together with global philanthropists. At the dinner, the Duke spoke about how proud he was to be President of the hospital, and how he has experienced the “brilliant work first hand during several visits”.

The Duke also undertook two days of work experience at The Royal Marsden in 2005 prior to becoming President of the hospital. He helped out in a variety of departments, including medical research, catering, and fundraising, as well as visiting a number of wards including children’s units.

His Royal Highness also comes for many private visits to The Royal Marsden, meeting staff and patients across the hospital.

The Duke said: “I am extremely proud to be the President of The Royal Marsden, an incredible hospital and a world-class cancer centre carrying out ground breaking work influencing the treatment and saving lives of cancer patients both nationally and internationally. I have experienced the brilliant work of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity first hand during several visits to The Royal Marsden.”

The Royal Family has had a long-term connection with the hospital, beginning in 1910 when the Hospital was granted its Royal Charter of Incorporation by King George V.

Her Majesty The Queen became Patron of the hospital on 3 June 1952, and Princess Diana became President on 27 June 1989.

18 November 2015

HRH The Duke of Cambridge spoke to patients involved in clinical trials when he visited The Royal Marsden's research facilities in Sutton. The Duke heard about the latest breakthroughs in translational cancer research as he toured the NIHR Centre for Molecular Pathology and West Wing Clinical Research Centre. Photos and tweets from the day can be seen below.

17 May 2016

HRH The Duke of Cambridge opened the Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research in Chelsea. Accompanied by Mr Ralph Lauren, The Duke visited the brand new breast cancer research facility, and took a tour of the Diane McCarthy Medical Day Unit, where patients receive intravenous drug therapies, including some which are being developed in the new centre.

16 May 2017

To mark 10 years of being President of The Royal Marsden, in May 2017 HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited the Radiotherapy Department and Oak Centre for Children and Young People.

The Duke visited the UK’s first Magnetic Resonance Linear Accelerator (MR Linac), a state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine which is set to make treatment more effective and reduce side effects for patients. He was then introduced to Mike Slade, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s £50 million Appeal Chairman. The Duke shadowed Dr Imogen Locke, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, and Superintendent Radiographer Steven Landeg, to experience first-hand what it is like to work with patients receiving radiotherapy.

He also spent time in the Oak Centre for Children and Young People, which he officially opened with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. During the visit, he accompanied two staff nurses in the Day Care Unit. He called young patients for treatment and helped the nurses check blood pressure. After leaving the Day Care Unit, The Duke joined play specialists along with four young patients and their parents, in the play room for a special arts and craft session.

Before leaving The Royal Marsden, Chief Executive Cally Palmer and Professor Martin Gore, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Trustee of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, presented The Duke with a photo book to celebrate his 10 years as President.