While on their second visit across the pond, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received some sad news – Diamond Marshall, the young cancer patient who they met in Calgary, succumbed to her illness on Monday evening.
William and Catherine met the charming young girl during their first Royal Tour to North America as a couple. After arriving in Calgary on July 7, 2011, the royals were greeted by six year-old Diamond, who presented a bouquet of flowers to the Duchess. She was chosen to present the flowers by the Children’s Wish Foundation with the view to fulfill her wish of meeting a real life princess.
But young Diamond, overcome with emotion upon meeting “Princess” Kate, couldn’t restrain herself, and flung her arms around Catherine, who returned the hug before spending a few minutes chatting to the girl along with Prince William. Later, Diamond said about Prince William: “He was a little bit handsome.”
Diamond Marshall was diagnosed with undifferentiated sarcoma in early 2011. She was declared cancer-free by the end of the year but, unfortunately, the cancer soon returned. She survived cancer a total of three times, before losing her battle with the disease earlier this week. She was nine years old.
“We are incredibly thankful for the time we had with Diamond and we will cherish the memories we made with her,” said Diamond’s family – her father, Lyall, her step-mother Danielle and step-sister Freya – in a statement. “She touched many people along the way and her story inspired so many.”
“We are also very grateful for the amazing support we have received throughout this journey. It has been overwhelming and it has sustained us through many difficult times.”
The day after Diamond’s death, a Kensington Palace spokesperson issued a statement on William and Catherine’s behalf saying that “The Duke and Duchess were saddened to hear of this news.”
In 2012, Diamond inspired the World’s Longest Hockey Game in Chestermere, an event which raised $1.4 million for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and another $2 million dollars two years later.
Featured photo credit: Kelly Harrison 2014