• Journalist Deborah James has passed away
  • Prince William and Duchess Kate are devastated by the loss
  • They shared an emotional message on Twitter

Though it had long been known that BBC presenter Deborah James (†40) was suffering from colon cancer, the news of her death still came as a shock. People around the world are mourning James, including Prince William and Duchess Kate.

William and Kate on Deborah James: "Unfalteringly brave woman"

Prince William and Duchess Kate expressed their deep sorrow over the death of Deborah James on Twitter in a personal statement. "We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah. Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones," they wrote.

"Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on." The royal couple put their initials afterward to show that they wrote the statement themselves.

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Prince William had even visited Deborah James at her home last month and awarded her the title of Dame. She passed away on June 28.

Deborah James' death was made public in an emotional message from her family on Instagram. They called her the "most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy" and an inspiration.

Her family is "proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives." 

The BBC presenter died at the age of 40.