Prince Harry visited a hospital for patients battling HIV on Monday, and shared warm memories with one of the people there. The prince met a woman who, at the age of two, had a very precious memory of his late mother, Princess Diana.
“Your mother’s lap was so comfortable and I cuddled into her,” the woman told him.
Prince Harry replied, “I remember that too.”
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 14, 2015
Kerry Reeves-Kneip is the director of fundraising and communications at Mildmay Mission Hospital in east London where Prince Harry visited. She shared her own thoughts about the poignant moment.
“He held hands with the mother and daughter,” she told People magazine. “You almost felt you knew him because he was so kind to everyone.”
Reeves-Kneip added that Prince Harry showed such compassion. He crouched on the floor with one man and held his hand. Another patient got down on her knees when she saw him, so he got down on his knees, too.
“He was absolutely amazing, and I am shocked at home relaxed he is. He made everyone feel not nervous. He really wanted to hear the patients’ stories and their journey,” she added.
Prince Harry recalled that his mother visited the hospital often, sneaking in and out so as not to draw attention to herself.
“How on earth did she get away with sneaking in and out and said, ‘If only I could do that!'” the prince said.
“He said it was very important for him to come here. This was a very important place to her and she made a number of visits here,” Reeves-Kneip said of Prince Harry and Princess Diana.
— People magazine (@people) December 14, 2015
Princess Diana was among the first to break the stigma attached to AIDS patients, when she famously shook hands and kissed the cheek of a man stricken with the disease.
“Before she came here, the local barbers wouldn’t cut the hair of people who worked here, the banks wouldn’t handle our money, dentists wouldn’t treat the staff and bricks were being thrown through our windows all the time,” Reeves-Kneip recalled. “But after the picture of her shaking hands with our patient and kissing him on the cheek went global, things changed.”
Kudos to Prince Harry for carrying on Princess Diana’s charitable work. She was the “people’s princess” and both he and brother Prince William–as well as William’s wife, Kate Middleton–have presented a new generation of royals. They are indeed carrying on Princess Diana’s legacy of love.
How wonderful that Prince Harry met a patient who remembers Diana’s kindness. That was no doubt a very special moment for both of them.