Prince William Watches Hospital Surgery, Follows in Princess Diana's Footsteps

11/07/2013 at 03:00 PM EST

Prince William Watches Hospital Surgery, Follows in Princess Diana's Footsteps
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.

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