Bittersweet memories. Prince Harry reminisced about his late mother, Princess Diana, while visiting with HIV-positive patients at Mildmay Mission Hospital in London on Monday, December 14. The royal met with a patient who had bonded with Diana when she was just 2 years old.
The woman, now 26, was born HIV-positive and sat on Princess Diana’s lap when she visited Great Ormond Street Hospital 24 years ago. "Your mother's lap was so comfortable and I cuddled into her," she recalled to Prince Harry, who replied: "I remember that too."
Princess Diana was a trailblazer who helped break down the stigma surrounding HIV — most notably in 1989 when she kissed a patient on the cheek. Diana — who also left behind eldest son William, now 33 — died at 36 in a 1997 car crash in Paris.
According to Kerry Reeves-Kneip, the hospital’s director of fundraising who escorted Harry, the 31-year-old redhead followed in his mother’s footsteps and visited with at least 26 patients, holding their hands and cracking jokes.
“She used to sneak in and out unknown,” he said of the so-called People’s Princess. Harry added that he wishes he could do the same — but social media makes that impossible. (“No chance,” he said.)
“She gave a lot of love and comfort to the people here,” Reeves-Kneip told Harry of Princess Di. “She was absolutely incredible.”
Prince Harry’s African charity, Sentebale, helps children with HIV, especially those in the country of Lesotho.
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