Prince Harry is touched to receive framed photos of Princess Diana
December 14, 2015by Ainhoa Barcelona
Prince Harry has followed in the footsteps of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales by carrying out a touching engagement on Monday morning. The royal paid a visit to Mildmay, a dedicated HIV hospital and charity in east London, that his mum was a regular visitor of.
Harry was marking the charity's 150th anniversary and the opening of the hospital's new purpose-built facilities. He saw how the focus of their work has changed significantly in the last two decades from end-of-life care to rehabilitation, thanks to medical advances.
Arriving at the hospital in a smart suit and bright blue tie, Harry was greeted by a chorus of well-wishers who waved Mildmay flags, and
youngsters from the nearby Virginia Primary School who had drawn Harry a special welcome banner.
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Prince Harry was given framed photographs of his late mother Princess Diana, who used to visit Mildmay hospital
When the Prince, 31, asked the schoolchildren what lessons they were missing and they replied, the cheeky royal said: "Maths? Boring! Oops, I didn't say that."
At the start of the visit Harry signed the guest book in the Diana, Princess of Wales meeting room. He looked visibly moved when he was presented with a handmade Christmas card and framed photographs of his mum Diana visiting the hospital.
The Prince was marking the opening of the hospital's new facilities
Harry was then given a tour of the hospital, which is now Europe's only centre dedicated to treatment, rehabilitation and medical care for people with complex HIV-related health conditions. The Prince also met staff and patients and learnt about the dangers of late diagnosis.
The culmination of the visit came in the form of the cutting of the cake, when Harry was given the honour of digging into the charity's birthday cake.
Harry also celebrated Mildmay's 150th anniversary
The engagement will have struck a chord with Harry, who was no doubt reminded of his late mother Diana. The People's Princess made around 17 visits to Mildmay, three of which were official.
It was during one of these visits that Diana kissed a patient on the cheek, a powerful gesture that helped to break down the stigma that surrounded HIV at the time.
The Princess would also visit the hospital in her private time and often spend time with patients who were nearing the end of their life. Several had been abandoned by their families and Diana's care and compassion offered them great comfort.
Princess Diana visited Mildmay around 17 times
It seems Harry is keen to champion his mother's cause as he has continued to show support for HIV victims.
The Prince has just come back from a trip to Lesotho and South Africa where he promoted the work of his charity Sentebale, which works with those affected by HIV. Many of the children supported by the charity – which means Forget Me Not in Sesotho – have lost their parents.
Harry is also keen to help tackle the stigma in a wider context outside of Lesotho. Overall, the number of people living with HIV in the UK continues to increase, and the number of those living with undiagnosed HIV remains high.