Prince Harry accepted a posthumous award for his mother’s groundbreaking work raising HIV and AIDS awareness by Attitude magazine this evening. “William and I are incredibly proud of what our mother achieved. And we thank you for awarding her the Legacy Award,” he said of the late Princess Diana
Collecting the award on his and his brother Prince William’s behalf, Prince Harry recalled his mother’s work ending the stigma around AIDS. Diana famously changed the public perception of AIDS when she shook hands and kissed the cheek of an AIDS patient, showing that the virus could not be transferred from casual contact.
“She knew exactly what she was doing,” Prince Harry told the audience as he accepted the award. “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.”
Throughout her short life, Diana campaigned for increased resources and a change in the way people treated victims of the disease.
Prince Harry, 33, and Prince William, 35, have vowed to carry on their mother’s work and legacy. Prince Harry made a heartfelt tribute to his mother in setting up the charity “Sentebale,” which means “forget me not,” to help the vulnerable children in southern Africa struggling with HIV and AIDS. He has campaigned tirelessly following in his mother’s footsteps for a greater understanding and funding for the disease.
Last year, Prince William appeared on the cover of Attitude magazine, who held the awards tonight, speaking out against homophobia, bullying and prejudice.
The brothers have spent the last six months commemorating their mother’s memory and work leading up to the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death in a car crash in Paris Aug. 31, 1997. “I often wonder about what she would be doing to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS if she were still with us today,” Prince Harry said at the awards ceremony tonight.