Prince William and Princess Diana
Lefteris Pitarakis/WPA Pool/Getty
Following in his mother's footsteps, Prince William
is taking a practical approach to his leadership role
at the Royal Mardsen hospital.
Like Princess Diana before him, William is the president of the Royal Mardsen NHS Foundation Trust – a patronage he took on in 2007. After witnessing two operations take place Thursday, he stepped out of the London hospital's Chelsea location and, smiling, declared he felt, "Good – still standing!"
In images reminiscent of his late mother's viewing of a heart operation
in 1996, William, 31, scrubbed up and wore a surgical mask to see the experts at work.
While Diana witnessed a procedure for a 7-year-old boy with a hole in his heart, the Duke of Cambridge spent about 30 minutes in two operations – a breast reconstruction and a removal of a bladder tumor.
During the visit to the leading cancer hospital, he also met with staff, who showed him the latest radiotherapy technology, called CyberKnife.
A palace source tells PEOPLE William didn't show any signs of fainting at the sight of the intricate operations and was "fascinated" by what he saw. A hospital spokeswoman says, "He was calm, and interested in the pioneering and innovative surgery."
Earlier, William and his wife, Kate
, had surprised volunteers selling poppies
at a London tube station as part of the annual memorial to casualties of war.