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OTRC: William & Kate to open children's cancer center

Their Royal Highnesses on July 6, 2011 made an unscheduled stop during their tour of Canada to visit Slave Lake, Alberta to see for themselves the damage wrought on the settlement after it was struck by wildfire. / The Duchess of Cambridge, talks to 6-year-old cancer patient Diamond Marshall after she and The Duke arrive in Calgary, Alberta on July 6, 2011. (princeofwales.gov.uk)

Prince William and his wife Kate plan to open a children's cancer center at a hospital in their native United Kingdom.

William, the 29-year-old Duke of Cambridge, is the president of the Royal Marsden Hospital's NHS Foundation Trust. He and Kate will open the facility's new Oak Centre for Children and Young People on September 29, his office said in a statement.

The move comes amid reports that say that the 29-year-old Duchess of Cambridge has been researching potential charities to support formally. She appears to be following in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, who was known for her global humanitarian efforts.

Kate is set to make a decision about a charity to focus on next year, the UK newspaper The Daily Mail said, adding that William is himself a royal patron of the group Centrepoint, which aids homeless people.

In July, Kate and William visited North America and were greeted upon their arrival in Canady by 6-year-old Diamond Ann Marshall, who is battling stage IV undifferentiated sarcoma and who lost her mother to cancer. The girl watched the couple's royal wedding in April from her own hospital bed.

Marshall broke royal protocol by hugging Kate's legs, while the duchess kneeled down and spoke to her kindly.

Marshall's father told Us Weekly that his daughter "always wanted to meet a real princess" and that Kate was "very kind to her, very sweet and genuine."

William married Kate Middlton in London on April 29 in a ceremony watched by millions of people around the world, including more than 22 million viewers in the United States.

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