Mildmay HIV hospital creates ‘Diana’ awards marking 20th anniversary of Princess of Wales’ death
PUBLISHED: 09:43 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:43 06 September 2017
The 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death has been marked by a thanksgiving and awards service in east London at the world-renowned Aids specialist hospital that she championed.
She had a special place in the history of the Mildmay Mission Hospital where she famously visited and met HIV patients in the 1990s.
The hospital in Shoreditch has honoured her legacy with four ‘Diana’ awards to staff, reflecting the qualities she embodied.
“Princess Di would be proud to see our work today,” Mildmay’s chief executive Ross White said.
“We provide treatment, care and rehabilitation for people with complex HIV health conditions, with 85 per cent recovery and able to live independent lives in the community.”
Wayne Sleep who danced with Diana in a private performance at the Royal Ballet in 1985 attended last week’s Mildmay thanksgiving, led by Canon Roger Royle.
TV’s Birds of A Feather star Linda Robson, another Mildmay supporter, presented the ‘Diana’ awards to staff.
Tributes were also given by photographer Chris Wood who joined the Princess when she visited patients at Mildmay. These are his pictures.
The Princess of Wales had an impact on the Mildmay, first opened in 1866 as a mission hospital to deal with the East End’s cholera epidemic, which had just reopened and was struggling to keep services going without NHS funding, relying on public donations.
She offered support at a time when it was badly needed, bringing public awareness to its work at home and abroad on HIV at a time when judgement and stigma still hung over Aids victims.
Her legacy lives on through the causes she championed and through her sons Prince William and Prince Harry who also support the Mildmay.
Prince Harry opened the hospital’s new wing last year named after Princess Dianna, continuing the royal patronage for the Mildmay now in its 151st year.