Princess Diana advocated for AIDS patients when no other royal figure dared to do so, and now her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, have vowed to keep their mother's mission alive.
The Terrence Higgins Trust, the United Kingdom’s largest HIV and sexual health charity, recently marked its 30th year and rang in the milestone with a heartening letter from the royal brothers.
“Because our mother believed so passionately in the work of the Trust, we wholeheartedly congratulate you on thirty years of selfless service to others,” the princes wrote.
Princess Diana fought for a number of causes close to her heart throughout her life. But she played a key role in fighting for AIDS and HIV sufferers at a time when the topic was taboo and something many high-profile people wouldn’t touch.
Back in 1989, the princess opened the Landmark Aids Centre, England’s first ward to specialize in treating HIV and AIDS, according to the BBC. It was also the first time that a member of the royal family tried to fight the stigma associated with the disease.
"I think it's terrible what they have to go through," Princess Diana said on the day the ward opened, the BBC reported.
Diana’s sons have now vowed to continue their mother’s work and to try to inspire others to do the same. “Our generation must pick up the sword and continue the fight,” William and Harry wrote.
To help the charity bring in more fundraising dollars, a photograph of William and Harry with Diana will be auctioned off at the nonprofit’s 30th anniversary event in March, the Guardian reports.
"In the 30 years since Terry Higgins' friends founded our charity we've achieved so much but the fight against HIV is far from over,” Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive of the charity, told the Guardian. "It's wonderful to see the princes inspiring their generation to take up the cause the way their mother inspired mine."