The Duke of Cambridge showed his caring bedside manner when he helped take the blood pressure of a little girl with leukaemia during a tour of one of the country’s leading cancer hospitals.
Daisy Wood, six, was happy to let the future king strap a cuff to her arm in preparation for the reading, when he visited the children’s cancer unit at the Royal Marsden’s Sutton hospital.
He was reunited with radiotherapy aid Fiona Bragg, 55, who took William under her wing when he spent a day shadowing staff at the south London hospital in 2005, two years before he became president of the Royal Marsden.
She recalled how she spent more than an hour showing the Duke how to check patients in once they had arrived at reception.
Ms Bragg said: “We just introduced him as William, he was really relaxed and friendly and spent a lot of time talking to the patients, not many people spotted him – one lady said he was a lookalike.”
In the Oak Centre for Children and Young People the Duke sat beside Daisy, with parents Katie and Alistair Wood from Kingston upon Thames nearby, who moments before was watching a DVD about a princess.
Her father later joked: “She did say William was a little old for her to marry.”
The six-year-old was left a little tongue tied after her meeting with the Duke but Mr Wood, 45, added: “It’s particularly nice he’s come around, it shows he’s interested in the Royal Marsden and the patients – it gives a boost to everyone.
“And being a dad with two young children you can see how he relates very well to the children.”
William was also shown a £10 million MR Linac scanner, the first of its kind in the country, that combines radiotherapy treatment with traditional imaging and has the potential to allow tumours to be targeted precisely in real time.
The equipment will be trialled at the end of the year but only the MR (magnetic resonance) imaging facility will be used, with the radiotherapy to follow.
After peering into the small slot that a patient lies in as their body is scanned, the Duke joked: “I wouldn’t like to lie in there for too much, I’m not sure it’s as roomy as they say.”