Prince Harry Remembers Princess Diana's Iconic Steps for AIDs Awareness: ‘She Knew Exactly What She Was Doing’
By Rachel McRady
Doing Diana proud! Prince Harry continued to honor his late mother Princess Diana’s legacy on Thursday night, giving a speech on her behalf at the Attitude Awards.
The 33-year-old royal looked dapper in a tuxedo, joking at the start of his speech, “Well don’t we all look lovely?”
He then went on to highlight his mother’s important work with the AIDs crisis in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Noting that at the time, many people were misinformed about the epidemic, thinking it could be transmitted by touch, Harry recalled his mother’s iconic decision to meet with a man suffering from HIV.
“When that April, she shook the hand of a 32-year-old man with HIV, in front of the cameras, she knew exactly what she was doing,” he said of the late Princess of Wales. “She was using her position as Princess of Wales – the most famous woman in the world – to challenge everyone to educate themselves; to find their compassion; and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.”
He went on to talk about Diana’s passion for the cause.
“She wanted to get to know those who were dying not as statistics or patients, but as people,” Harry added. “In the year before my mother's death, the first truly effective anti-retroviral treatments were developed for HIV and AIDS. She did not live to see this treatment become widely available and save countless lives in the UK and around the world.”
He went on to note that he often thinks about what she’d be doing today to help continue the fight against HIV and AIDs.
“I believe that she would be telling everyone across society – not just those most at risk – that with effective treatment being free and available in the UK, that we must all embrace regular testing – both for our own sake and for those that we love,” he said. “She would be demanding that same access to treatment and testing for young people in Africa and across the world. And she would of course be standing alongside those who are living openly, as healthy, happy and HIV-positive.”