Princess Diana has been dead for two decades, but her legacy still lives on.
On Thursday, she was honoured for her work with the LGBT community, as well as the HIV and AIDS victims, at the event organized by Attitude magazine. Prince Harry accepted the Legacy Award that acknowledges the groundbreaking contributions his mom made when she was still alive.
Upon accepting the award, Prince Harry detailed how his mom got involved in various causes for HIV, AIDS and the LGBT. “In April 1987, my mother was only 25 years old. She was still finding her way in public life, but she already felt a responsibility to shine her spotlight on the people and issues that were often ignored.
She knew that AIDS was one of the things that many wanted to ignore and seemed like a hopeless challenge. She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia, he said.
Prince Harry continued to explain what life was like for HIV and AIDS sufferers during that time. There were misconceptions that coming into contact with an ill person by means of shaking hands could pass on the disease. But in April of 1987, Princess Diana was photographed shaking hands with an old man with HIV.
“She knew exactly what she was doing… She was using her position of the 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 said.
In the summer, Princess Diana’s brother, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer said that the late princess wasn’t really a “gloves person” because she believed in the importance of “human contact.”
According to People, Prince Harry has also continued his mom’s legacy by asking everyone to get tested. He himself underwent an HIV test with Rihanna last year. At that time, the prince told the publication, “Then younger generation coming through want to talk about it, but there’s still that stigma. If us getting tested normalizes it and makes a difference, even a small difference, then job well done.”
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