Yesterday, Prince Harry and Prince William honored the recipients of the Diana Award. Both brothers are still technically involved with the Diana Award organization, which recognizes people working in charitable and humanitarian causes. There was a rumor going around several months ago that Harry would actually come to the UK for the Diana Award, but he shut that down. Instead, he spoke to the recipients via Zoom, and the Diana Award people posted a screencap on their Instagram, as you can see. William, on the other hand, met with the recipients in person at Kensington Palace. It’s very interesting to me that Kensington Palace didn’t post any photos of that on their social media.
Meanwhile, Wednesday (December 1) was also World AIDS Day. Prince Harry is still involved with several AIDS-related charities and foundations, including Sentebale, the one he founded. Harry wrote a wonderful open letter to mark the day:
“On this World AIDS Day we recognise the 40 years that have shaped life for many,” he wrote in the message addressed to World Heath Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “We honour those whose lives have been cut short and reaffirm our commitment to a scientific community that has worked tirelessly against this disease. My mother would be deeply grateful for everything you stand for and have accomplished. We all share that gratitude, so thank you.”
Harry’s letter went on to draw a parallel between AIDS activists and another sort of activist — one that didn’t exist during his mother’s lifetime.
“It is striking to now see the world’s leading AIDS activists are also leading the call for COVID-19 vaccine equity,” the 37-year-old explained. “Vaccinating the world is a test of our moral character and we are experiencing a spectacular failure when it comes to global vaccine equity. Similar to the AIDS crisis, 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.”
He warned that without global initiatives, without “breaking pharma monopolies” and without nations fulfilling their promises to deliver vaccine doses to all, “potentially more dangerous COVID-19 variants are likely to arise…It’s time to draw from the lessons we learned throughout the HIV/AIDS pandemic, where millions died unnecessarily due to deep inequities in access to treatment. Are we really comfortable repeating the failures of the past?”
Looking at the young people who’ve benefited from Sentebale, the charity he founded in Southern Africa to help children living in poverty and devastation from AIDS/HIV, he finds the answer.
“Everything I’ve learnt, from the youth of Sentebale, tells me not,” he wrote. “They see how repeating these mistakes is destructive and self- defeating, it is a betrayal of the next generation.” In closing, he added, “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.”
Again, Harry remains pitch-perfect. It’s still pretty shocking to think that his brother, the royal establishment and the British media was happy to trash him and exile him. They willingly disposed of one of their greatest assets, humanitarians and ambassadors. Meanwhile, Diana’s other son didn’t mark World AIDS Day whatsoever.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.