Published 14 June 2018

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at a reception for the Royal Marsden Trust, at Buckingham Palace.

I simply cannot thank you enough. What you are doing, what The Royal Marsden is doing, is immeasurably important.

The Duke of Cambridge

Welcome everyone this evening.

I have been privileged to be President of The Royal Marsden for over ten years now. It is a very very special place to me - from my early visits as a young boy; to my work experience in 2007; and now in my role as President.

Those early visits - and the feeling that The Royal Marsden is an exceptional place - have always stayed with me.

A patient recently said to Cally:

"The quality of every contact is so evident at every level. The positive effect this has on patients is immeasurable. And my experiences will remain with me as a reminder of how good a hospital can be. Truly terrific work and effort from genuine and accessible people."

That, for me, really sums up The Royal Marsden and the care I know that every patient receives.

Last summer, I visited the Sutton site to celebrate a decade as President and returned to where I had worked as a work experience student one summer.  You will appreciate that I was reassured to know everything was still standing after my intervention! But also that the quality of care, the compassion and the dedication from every single member of staff had not changed one bit.

While at Sutton, I once again visited the children's centre, and the radiotherapy unit and saw an amazing piece of prototype technology.  The MR Linac fuses two technologies together to allow much more precise delivery of radiotherapy. You can only imagine how much this will improve care for patients. And it is another great example of how The Royal Marsden continues to evolve and push the boundaries of cancer research, its treatment and its care.

And so much of that work would not be possible without the support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.  The Charity helps to fund state-of-the-art equipment, ground- breaking research and the very very best patient environments.

With the help of many of you here tonight, the Charity ensures that the doctors, nurses and research teams can develop life-saving treatments and provide the very best of care.

I am heartened to know that The Oak Cancer Centre will truly fulfil the Royal Marsden's ambition to improve the lives of all people affected by cancer.

I would like to thank Mike Slade and the members of the Appeal Board for their drive and determination in making this wonderful new building a reality.  Raising £70m is no mean feat but I know that with the support of so many of you, this will be possible.

And we are already halfway there thanks to the generosity of many individuals including Alan and Jette Parker from the Oak Foundation, the Kuok Group Foundation, the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, Richard Oldfield, and Don McCarthy.

The people who will benefit from the Oak Cancer Centre are cancer patients.  Not only those who come through the doors of The Royal Marsden, but cancer patients across the U.K. and around the world.

I have met many of those patients on my visits to The Royal Marsden over the years, and on their behalf, I simply cannot thank you enough. What you are doing, what The Royal Marsden is doing, is immeasurably important.