Diana’s letters reveal how she suffered from AIDS

In the last months of his mother’s life, Prince Harry’s younger brother, Prince Harry, said the princess phoned the AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser to let her know she was OK.

“She was living at Kensington Palace at the time,” said Prince Harry, speaking during a preview in the U.K. of a documentary being broadcast later in the year on the BBC, “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy.” The princess called the organization that Glaser founded in the early 1980s, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, “often.”

“Her family came to visit,” Prince Harry said. “We would always have tea together in one of the bedrooms. And Elizabeth and I talked quite a lot. She just rang and the call to me was ‘Elizabeth, I’m good, I’m doing great.’ And she’d call from time to time. I don’t really think that they were aware of the extent of how acute her condition was.”

The interview comes after Princess Diana’s official will was released Thursday. The document, which was written in April 1997, noted that her condition made her “much more sensitive, less frustrated” and a “remarkably modest and modest girl.”

Harry has made a series of public comments about his mother, a moving tribute to a woman whose popularity and warmth helped galvanize the public’s response to AIDS and HIV.

The program, which is timed to commemorate what would have been the queen’s official 90th birthday, is the result of an eight-year effort by Mark Lewis, a close friend of Prince Harry, who discovered that handwritten letters from Princess Diana had survived the double car crash in Paris in 1997.

The contents of the letters, which were recovered in the wreckage of the Mercedes carrying the princess and her lover, Dodi Fayed, are expected to be revealed in the documentary and the accompanying book of photographs.

In the program, Trevor Rees-Jones, the British coroner who ruled Diana’s death a murder in 2008, concludes that “there is no way” the letters could have survived the crash if they had not been opened.

“For it to survive says that somebody quite powerful with knowledge of what was going on was looking for them,” Rees-Jones said, according to The Times of London. “It’s quite telling.”

In the program, Prince Harry said he was “totally respectful” of his mother’s wishes for the letters to be withheld, particularly as she had admitted to his father, Prince Charles, she did not want her private papers published.

After the documents were found, Prince Harry said, “I went to my mum’s house, my brother went to his mum’s house, we had tea, and we talked about a lot of it.”

But he added, “I guess it does add another element to, if they were still out there and there is no archive, this is quite brilliant that we’ve found them and then we can talk about them.”

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