UK

Prince Harry visits HIV hospital supported by mother Diana

Prince Harry signs a visitors book Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Harry signed a visitors book beneath pictures of his mother

Prince Harry has followed in the footsteps of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and visited a HIV hospital that was supported by her.

The prince met staff and patients from east London's Mildmay Hospital, which has treated those living with the illness for more than 25 years.

He highlighted how his mother helped break the stigma around the illness when she kissed an Aids patient there.

The visit marked the official opening of the new £6m Mildmay Hospital.

'Broke stigma'

Harry, who put his signature in a visitors' book beneath a picture of Diana signing a photograph of herself during a 1991 visit, was told stories of his mother making private late-night visits to the hospital.

Kerry Reeves-Kneip, Mildmay's fundraising director, told Harry that Diana made 17 visits to the centre in Shoreditch - three publicly - and that staff faced discrimination from some neighbouring shops which refused to serve them.

She said: "She [Diana] came at such an important time - around this area local barbers wouldn't cut staff's hair. She really did break down the stigma."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Diana, Princess of Wales - pictured here with a patient in 1989 - made three public visits to the hospital
Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Harry's visit marked the official opening of the new £6m Mildmay Hospital.

Ms Reeves-Kneip also told a story of one of Diana's visits. Speaking about Harry and his brother William, she said: "There was a telephone call from a school - one of you had clambered on to a school roof."

Harry joked that "it was probably me", and when told his mother "found it amusing", replied "phew".

The new hospital admitted its first patients in September.

The prince also cut a cake marking the charity's 150th anniversary, which is next year.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Harry met school pupils during his visit

Mildmay began as a mission hospital in the mid-19th Century, providing care during a cholera outbreak in London, and became part of the NHS after World War Two before being closed down in 1982.

In 1988 it reopened as the first dedicated hospice for people dying of Aids-related illnesses.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The charity's 150th anniversary, which is next year, was also marked

Related Topics

More on this story