Prince Harry has honored his mother’s philanthropic work with the HIV and AIDS community in a new letter, marking the 40th anniversary of the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust.
In the letter, the 38-year-old estranged royal claimed that his late mother’s involvement with the HIV and sexual health charity was a “big piece” of her legacy.
The charity is named after Terrence “Terry” Higgins, one of the first people to die of an AIDS-related illness in the UK in July 1982.
Harry’s note was included in a catalog for the charity’s flagship fundraising event, The Auction, on Monday, according to The Independent.
He wrote, “I’ve been involved with Terrence Higgins Trust for a number of years, and the fight to end this epidemic is a big piece of my mum’s legacy.”
Harry continued by expressing his pride in continuing his mother’s advocacy with the charity. Despite Diana not living to see the success of today’s treatments, he commended her for leading with empathy, finding humanity in all around her, and demonstrating the power of connection in the face of fear.
Diana, who died in a 1997 Paris car crash while being pursued by paparazzi, opened the UK’s first HIV/AIDS unit at London Middlesex Hospital in 1987.
She also shocked many that year when she shook hands with AIDS patients despite the world’s early lack of knowledge and understanding about the disease.
In February 1989, she hugged a 7-year-old boy with AIDS at a New York City hospital.
Harry’s letter also highlighted the Terrence Higgins Trust’s goal of ending new transmissions, pledging to make England the first country to achieve that by 2030.
He encouraged everyone to do their part by advocating testing, eradicating stigma, and donating resources to the charity’s efforts.
The letter comes days after Harry and Meghan made headlines over their rift with the royal family. Their reps confirmed on Sunday that they were evicted from their residence at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
Despite their public desire for a private life separate from the hierarchy, they have also received an invitation to King Charles III’s coronation, which is set for May 6. Some fans believe the date was purposely chosen to inconvenience the couple as it’s also their son Archie’s 4th birthday.