Prince William is following his mother Princess Diana's footsteps for a very special deed. He visited an upcoming branch of the Royal Marsden Hospital, a new specialist cancer treatment centre in Surrey, and laid a foundation stone just as the late princess did 30 years ago at the hospital's Chelsea centre.

The Duke of Cambridge visited the new centre in Sutton on Wednesday for the ceremony giving a head start to the building the Oak Cancer Centre. As per the official website, the Oak Cancer Centre is a brand-new centre that is being built with an aim of speeding up the development of effective treatment for cancer patients. The charity aims to open the centre by the year 2022.

As noted, Princess of Wales carried out the same task as her son in 1990 for the Chelsea Wing of the Royal Marsden centre. Diana sported a hard hat with the letters "HRH" during the event, as seen in a video shared on the royals' official Twitter account. During another memorable visit to the centre, she also adorned scrubs to honour the surgeons and their contribution.

30 years after Diana, Princess of Wales, laid a ceremonial foundation stone to commemorate the building of the Chelsea Wing at @royalmarsden in Chelsea, Prince William visited The Royal Marsden in Sutton to mark the start of construction for the Trust’s Oak Cancer Centre.

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 21, 2020

The Royal Marsden is the first hospital in the world dedicated to research and treatment of the deadly disease. It was founded in the year 1851. The patron of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is Queen Elizabeth II. In 1989, Princess Diana became the president who was succeeded by her son in 1997, after her tragic death.

Despite the challenging times we are living in, it is so important we acknowledge the tremendous work that continues all around us.

And irrespective of the global pandemic, there remains hope for the many thousands of people dealing with the effects of cancer @RoyalMarsden

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 21, 2020

During his visit, William met with staff and patients and talked to them about the importance of the centre's development. It is said that the research facility will house more than 400 researchers in an attempt to speed up the development of the treatment against the disease. So far, the charity has been able to raise nearly £62million of the £70million goal.

He also talked about the challenges faced by the hospital staff and patients due to coronavirus outbreak this year.

"The knock-on effects of coronavirus have been felt widely, but the impact on cancer treatment for patients up and down the country has been one of the most acute and challenging," he said during his speech as quoted by People.

He even applauded the hospital's efforts in providing care to the patients during these exceptional times.

"Earlier this morning I was privileged to meet patients who all spoke about the exceptional care they received, and how they felt safe in very difficult and often frightening times," he added. "As well as providing outstanding care, The Royal Marsden continues to be at the cutting edge of cancer research globally."

Prince William and Kate visit Ireland
The visit by Prince William and his wife Kate was the first royal visit to Ireland since his grandmother Queen Elizabeth's in 2011. Photo: POOL / Brian Lawless

Highlights from the duke's visit were posted on Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official Twitter account.