Prince Harry hails Diana's 'power of connection' as he marks 40 years of HIV charity

Prince Harry has praised his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, for demonstrating the "power of connection in the face of fear" as he marked 40 years of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

In a message in honour of the UK's leading HIV and sexual health charity, the Duke of Sussex said the fight to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic was a "big part" of the late princess's legacy.

He commended the trust for revolutionising the fight against HIV and AIDS, but warned "we cannot slow down now, we must finish the job".

Diana was a vigorous campaigner against the stigmatisation of HIV and AIDS, famously shaking the hands of patients in the 1990s when many still believed the virus could be passed on by physical contact.

"I've been involved with Terrence Higgins Trust for a number of years, and the fight to end this epidemic is a big piece of my mum's legacy," Harry said in his message to the trust.

"Like many, my mother grew up in a world where HIV was likely a death sentence. Yet, in the midst of all that uncertainty, she led with empathy, finding the humanity in all around her and demonstrating the power of connection in the face of fear.

"While my mother did not live to see the success of today's treatments, I feel immense pride in being able to continue her advocacy with you."

The Terrence Higgins Trust has pledged to make England the first country to end new HIV cases by 2030.

This weekend, the duke revealed he was diagnosed with PTSD by a therapist - triggered by his mother's fatal car crash in 1997.

In a live interview with trauma expert Dr Gabor Mate, Harry also revealed how he encouraged the Royal Family to undergo therapy so they could "speak his language" and understand him better.

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It comes as his strained relationship with his father, the King, and brother, the Prince of Wales, faced fresh difficulties following the publication of his controversial memoir Spare in January.

In the book, Harry claimed Charles put his own interests first, that William physically attacked him and the Queen Consort sacrificed him on "her personal PR altar".

Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, have not yet confirmed whether they will be attending Charles's coronation in May, however, a spokesperson claimed the couple had received email correspondence from the King's office about the high-profile event.

Urging people to support the drive for HIV testing, Harry added in his message: "They need all of us to do our part by encouraging testing so we all know our status, eradicating stigma that thrives on silence, and donating the resources Terrence Higgins Trust needs to keep up their efforts at pace.

"Though the last 40 years have shown significant progress, we cannot slow down now, we must finish the job."

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He continued: "My biggest and heartfelt congratulations on this historic milestone. May the next one we celebrate signal an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic for all."

The duke's message appears in the trust's auction catalogue, with the fundraising sale including art by Tracey Emin and Antony Gormley taking place at Christie's in London on Monday.