Prince William followed in his mother’s footsteps by ceremonially laying the cornerstone at the new cancer wing of a hospital where Princess Diana had done the same thing decades earlier.
In 1997, the Princess of Wales laid the ceremonial foundation stone at the Chelsea wing of the Royal Marsden hospital in London. And on Wednesday, according to an Instagram post from his official account, the future king of England did the same thing, this time for the hospital’s latest expansion, the Trust’s Oak Cancer Centre in Sutton.
Similarly, in a tweet from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official Twitter account, a photo of the duke laying the stone is juxtaposed with a photo of his mother at her event.
30 years after Diana, Princess of Wales, laid a ceremonial foundation stone to commemorate the building of the Chelsea Wing at @royalmarsden in Chelsea, Prince William visited The Royal Marsden in Sutton to mark the start of construction for the Trust’s Oak Cancer Centre. pic.twitter.com/lycnCdLDgv
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 21, 2020
As People reported, the new cancer wing is intended both as a treatment facility and a research institute, putting over 400 researchers in the same building as the patients, with a view toward coming up with treatments for the devastating illness.
“I am personally delighted to be with you today to lay the foundation stone of the Oak Centre, 30 years after my mother did the very same thing at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea, commemorating the building of the Chelsea Wing,” he said in his speech at the event.
Wearing a face mask due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he met with a handful of people who were being treated at the facility and undergoing clinical trials. He referenced their experiences in further remarks in his speech.
“[This facility] will represent a new generation of research-led patient treatment and care. It will bring together some of the world’s best minds to develop new treatments to save and improve the lives of cancer patients throughout the U.K. and around the world.”
He also referenced the pandemic, noting that the patients who had received care while the disease raged said that they felt safe while experiencing “exceptional” care.
The expanded cancer center is scheduled to open in 2022.
William serves as the figurative President of the Royal Marsden and has made multiple visits there over the years. Back in 2005, for example, he spent two days working at the hospital, and in 2019, he dressed in scrubs so he could observe operations taking place there using robotic surgical technology.
Over the years, William has raised $80 million for the hospital, which is $10 million short of its goal required to complete the expansion. The duke intends to help raise that money.