Prince William’s ‘powerful advice’ to Deborah James’s kids about dealing with his ‘similar grief’ days before her death

Friday 13th May 2022, Deborah James receives her Damehood from Prince William. Left to right: Husband Sebastien Bowen, 14 year old son Hugo, 12 year old daughter Eloise. Keywords: Wills, Duke Of Cambridge, Dame, Medal, Badge, Cancer

PRINCE William gave Deborah James’s kids some “powerful advice” about dealing with his “similar grief” for his mum Princess Diana.

The much-loved Sun columnist died at the age of 40 in June after a five-year battle with stage-four bowel cancer.

Prince William gave Deborah James’s kids ‘powerful advice’ on how to deal with grief when he visited

Deborah James pictured with husband Sebastien Bowen in her final days, during a day out together

In the last seven weeks of her life alone she achieved more than most of us will in a lifetime, raising a staggering £7.4million for charity and captured the hearts of the nation.

During her final days she was made a Dame and had the Duke of Cambridge over for tea.

The Duke, 40, who lost his own mother, Princess Diana, when he was aged just 15, gave Deborah’s two children son Hugo, 14, and daughter Eloise, 12, “powerful advice” about dealing with grief, according to Sebastien.

Husband Sebastien, 42, also joked that Deborah was “triple parked” when he came to visit – as Debs had a glass of wine, a glass of Champagne and a glass of sherry in front of her.

Describing the visit, Sebastien said Wills “felt like a friend, but he was the future king” and was “so relaxed”.

Sebastien said: “He’s obviously been through similar grief with the loss of his mother so he gave powerful advice to the children that will stay with them forever.”

In an exclusive interview with HOAR last week, Sebastien told how “proud” he was of his wife before she “slipped away”.

He said: “I told her how much I loved her, that I would look after the kids and the last thing I said to her was that I was so proud of her. Then she slipped away.

“She had an incredibly peaceful death, if there was a way to die well, then she managed it.

“At the very end, it was quite spiritual.”

Despite being unable to walk without help, Deborah found the strength to launch a clothing line, she designed charity T-shirts to raise another £1million for her BowelBabe Fund and managed to complete her second book, How To Live When You Should Be Dead – all in her final weeks.

In a touching interview with The Times, Sebastien told how his son Hugo, 14, would brush his mum’s hair, while Eloise, 12, would fetch her drinks.

He said Deborah was no longer able to do simple tasks like getting food from the kitchen or “clean or dress herself”.

And the dad-of-two said his wife became “so weak” and “frustrated” because she had been “fiercely independent”.

He told The Times: “She was paralysed at the end from the waist down and had to deal with psychological battle of the reality of her new handicap.”

Sebastien said it was his late wife’s “inner strength” during those final weeks that resulted in the couple being able to still experience “some of the most mind-blowing, magical days of both our lives”.

The banker stopped working to spend as much time with Deborah as possible after she stopped active treatment and started to receive end-of-life care.

He told how he slept by her side and held her hand for two days before she died, adding she “wasn’t really there”.

“On [the] Tuesday her eyes opened and she came back into the room for a moment,” he explained.

“And then she was gone within 15 minutes, with her sister, mother and father also surrounding her.”

Dame Debs shared her journey with the world, in her Sun column Things Cancer Made Me Say, on social media and on her BBC podcast.

Deborah, a former deputy headteacher, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, before launching a podcast You, Me and the Big C, to raise awareness about the illness.

Deborah managed to raise millions for charity in her final weeks

Deborah has some fun with Wills and her dad

Sebastien said he had been ‘proud’ of his wife before she ‘slipped away’