Prince Harry Honors Mom Princess Diana in Letter on World AIDS Day

Princess Diana was well-known for her outreach with those diagnosed with HIV, and her work trying to bring awareness to the AIDS pandemic. Now, on World AIDS Day 2021, her son Prince Harry has honored his compassionate Mom in a powerful public letter shared by ET Online. Speaking out in his mother's honor, Harry wrote, "On this World AIDS Day we [recognize] the 40 years that have shaped life for many." 

"We [honor] those whose lives have been cut short and reaffirm our commitment to a scientific community that has worked tirelessly against this disease," he continued. "My mother would be deeply grateful for everything you stand for and have accomplished. We all share that gratitude, so thank you." Harry also addressed the COVID-19 pandemic and offered what he feels can be done to better protect future generations from having to face similar dangers. 

"Vaccinating the world is a test of our moral character and we are experiencing a spectacular failure when it comes to global vaccine equity," he wrote. Harry then compared the coronavirus response to the HIV pandemic from decades past. "Similar to the AIDS crisis," he wrote, "we've yet again revealed over the past year, that the value of life depends on whether you were born and/or live in a rich nation, or a developing country."

Harry also called for "breaking Pharma monopolies," and he urged global governments to keep their word in making sure vaccine doses they promised to developing nations actually get delivered. The father-of-two then lambasted the cycle of making the same mistakes over again as "a betrayal of the next generation." Harry later ended on a spirited note, writing, "Let's spend today celebrating and building on the work of champions who turned what was once a death sentence into a manageable condition. Let's spend tomorrow continuing our efforts to save lives and make a difference."

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Diana died on Aug. 31, 1997, when a car she was traveling in crashed in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris. Two other passengers — Diana's partner Dodi Fayed and the driver Henri Paul — were also killed. Notably, Diana's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived the crash. Harry was just 12 years old at the time of his mother's tragic death. His older brother, Prince William, was 15 years old. Both sons have committed to carrying on her legacy of outreach in the years since her death.