Children greet Prince Harry arriving at Mildmay Hospital in Shoreditch
PUBLISHED: 14:52 15 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:42 15 December 2015
Prince Harry was greeted by schoolchildren in London’s East ended when he visited the Mildmay Hospital in the footsteps of Princess Diana 25 years before.
He was opening the new facilities that his mother, a regular supporter and visitor to the hospital in the 1980s, would have been pleased to see.
Harry was greeted by the youngsters outside the Mildmay Hospital when he came to open its new facilities that his mother Princess Diana, a supporter in the 1980s, would have been pleased to see.
The hospital behind Shoreditch Church is world-famous for treating those living with HIV and rehabilitation, caring for people with complex HIV-related health conditions including brain impairment.
The Prince was taken on a tour of the hospital by Mildmay’s Fundraising director Kerry Reeves-Neip to meet patients, staff and volunteers.
His meeting with two former patients was moving as they shared their stories of how their lives have been turned around by the Mildmay. He signed the visitors’ book in the Princess of Wales room, where a signed photograph of his mother hangs in pride of place.
Mildmay marks its 150th anniversary in 2016. Prince Harry cut the ‘Mildmay 150’ birthday cake.
“We don’t usually get to cut cakes,” he laughed. “We usually plant trees — this is something new.”
Mildmay presented him with a framed photograph and a Christmas card signed by staff, patients and volunteers.
Kerry Reeves-Kneip said: “The excitement about the visit has been building all week, but he put everyone at ease and showed great sensitivity and compassion when meeting patients. Prince Harry was genuinely interested in our work.”
The hospital’s work has changed significantly in the last two-and-a-half decades since Diana’s regular visits. Mildmay’s focus has moved from end-of-life care to rehabilitation with newly-developed anti-retroviral drugs.
The hospital’s director Dr Ross White said: “Prince Harry’s visit is special because the Princess of Wales, his mother, showed great support for the Mildmay.”
It became the first dedicated hospice for those dying of Aids illnesses in 1988. Medical advancement has turned it into a centre for the care of people living with Aids — rather than dying from it.