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Cancer patient hails 'kind' Duchess

The Duchess of Cambridge's visit to a children's cancer unit left a young patient praising the royal's kindness after she promised to leave a message on his blog.

Kate made the pledge to nine-year-old Fabian Bate as she opened the Royal Marsden's new £18 million cancer centre with her husband William.

The visit is likely to draw comparisons with the Duke's mother Diana, Princess of Wales who was a past president of the Royal Marsden, a post now held by her eldest son, and met staff and patients regularly.

During the tour, William showed none of the sleep deprivation he was experiencing after working through the night flying RAF search and rescue missions.

He flew a mercy mission to pick up a sailor from a Royal Navy vessel off the Isle of Man to Sandhurst in Surrey - only returning to his base, RAF Valley on Anglesey, just after 9am.

The visit was Kate's first official invite to a hospital. Following her husband's lead, she patiently chatted with the cancer patients at the Oak Centre for Children and Young People at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, south London.

In the centre's Teenage and Young Adult Chemotherapy Suite, the royal couple met Fabian, who was in the middle of four hours of chemotherapy for his acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and the Duchess promised to post a personal message on his family blog.

His mother Lydia, 50, said: "William told him he is so brave, and he seemed genuinely sad about Fabian's situation. Kate asked loads of questions and said she was sorry the treatment hadn't worked first time round."

The royal couple's tour of the new centre ran around 30 minutes over its two-hour schedule as the couple chatted to virtually all the young patients during their visit.

Before leaving, William gave a speech praising the work of the Royal Marsden's staff before unveiling a plaque with his wife. He told the gathered board members and senior executives: "This place is inspirational. I mean that in the truest sense of the word - it really inspires me."

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