Prince Harry Reminisces About Princess Diana’s Cuddles, Comfort

Prince Harry
Prince Harry with Kerry Reeves-Kneip, Director of Fundraising, during his visit to Mildmay, a dedicated HIV hospital, to mark the opening of the new purpose-built facility at Mildmay Hospital on December 14, 2015 in London, England.  Yui Mok-WPA Pool/Getty Images

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." 

Prince Harry
Prince Harry, visiting Mildmay hospital, is presented with a framed photograph of Princess Diana visiting the dedicated HIV hospital. Yui Mok-WPA Pool/Getty Images

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.

Princess Diana during a visit to HIV patients at Mildmay in February 1989 Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

“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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