Prince William and Prince Harry were only 15 and 12, respectively, when their mother Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997.
The brothers grew up to be incredible young men whose actions are clear indications that they have taken after their mother's selflessness and humility. Princess Diana was involved with over 100 different charities and even after her nasty split from Prince Charles, she continued to be the "people's princess," and used her platform to advance good causes.
Since her tragic passing, William and Harry have taken over many of her philanthropic endeavors and they're achieving great results.
Here are 6 ways the Princes are carrying on their late mother's legacy:
1. Helping the Homeless
In January 2017, Prince Harry participated in a run with The Running Charity then recreated Diana's photo on the stairs of the Willesden Green hostel as a tribute to his mother, who worked hard to end homelessness. The Running Charity is an organization that uses running to "improve the lives of 16-25 year olds who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness."
2. Protecting Wildlife
Prince William is the royal patron of the Tusk Trust, an organization which works to fund conservation across Africa and protect wildlife. The Duke of Cambridge and the non-profit group work closely with zoos and conservation parks such as Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe. During her lifetime, Diana took a stance against poaching and worked closely with the same orphanage to rescue and treat wild animals.
3. Eliminating Landmines
Princess Diana garnered worldwide attention when she walked through an active land minefield in Angola. Diana did the walk to draw attention to those living with severe injuries caused by exploded mines left behind after war. The Mine Ban Treaty (Ottawa Convention) was signed by various countries a few years after her iconic photos were circulated.
Prince Harry continued to advocate for the elimination of mines and became the patron of HALO Trust. In 2013, he took a similar trip to Mozambique to see the charity's work. The royal's mission is to help make the world land mine-free by 2025.
Check out the next page for more amazing ways the royal brothers are carrying Princess Diana's legacy.
4. Ending the HIV/AIDS Stigma
In the 1980s, when the world was filled with misinformation and stigma about HIV and AIDS, the "people's princess" was photographed touching and hugging people infected with the disease without protection. In 1989, as the Patron of the National Aids Trust, she opened the first "landmark aids centre" in London. Up until her death, Diana continued to help raise awareness and change the attitude of the public about the disease.
Prince Harry is now continuing his mother's work and fighting against the stigma surrounding the disease. Harry spent his gap year working in Lesotho and 10 years ago he set up his charity Sentebale. In 2016, Harry took an HIV test and shared the entire experience live on Facebook to emphasize that its importance. Both Harry and William also pledged allegiance to the UK-based HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, to help find a cure.
5. Breaking Mental Health Taboos
William and Harry have suffered their fair share of tragedies and they're not afraid to speak about the toll it took on their mental state. Just like their mother, who spoke out about postpartum depression and self-harm, the brothers also publicly acknowledged that they've dealt with mental health issues and even sought out therapy.
“We all do. It’s just few of us speak about it," William said.
The Princes and Kate Middleton co-founded the Heads Together campaign to open up the conversation about mental health. Harry also took over as patron of Headway, a charity that helps people with brain injuries. In 2013, he opened up the new headquarters in Nottingham.
6. Helping Sick and Vulnerable Children
Making sure sick and vulnerable children are well cared for was one of the most important causes Diana worked for. Following her death, her children continued her incredible work in a multitude of ways. In May 2007, William became the president of The Royal Marsden Hospital, a position which Diana previously held.
William isn't the only one in the family who is interested in helping sick children. In 2012, Harry fulfilled his mother's wish by visiting Bustamante Children's Hospital in Jamaica 15 years after her scheduled visit was cancelled due to her untimely death. Harry is also the patron of WellChild, a charity which works to offer aid to families of children with serious illnesses.
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