Princess Diana may have led a troubled life that came to a tragic end on Aug. 31, 1997, but she was an incredible woman who accomplished a lot during her short life. On the anniversary of her death, here is a look back at some of her greatest accomplishments.
The princess made a point of visiting AIDS patients in hospitals where she could be seen hugging them, showing that she was not afraid of close contact. This was during a time when irrational fears surrounded the disease, and most people felt they should be quarantined.
Diana changed all of that. She was a big part in removing the stigma associated with AIDS throughout the world. Gavin Hart, of the National Aids Trust, commented, “In our opinion she was the foremost ambassador for Aids awareness on the planet and no one can fill her shoes in terms of the work she did,” according to the BBC.
The year Diana died was the same in which she visited the minefields of Angola when she began her efforts to ban land mines. She watched the workers as they cleared some 5,000 mines there that had been the cause of so many children who became amputees. Shortly after her Angola visit, Diana went to war-torn Bosnia to fight against the mines. She also visited many patients in the hospitals, giving them love and compassion in an effort to emotionally support the many victims.
One of the patients, Lissette Dominga, commented on her surprise that someone so well-known would make such an effort. CNN reports Dominga said, “I tell them she was so friendly, so down to earth.”
The biggest impact Diana made was getting the issue out in the open so funding and more resources could go to this great cause.
Princess Diana even went as far as learning sign language so she could communicate with the hearing impaired. She joined the British Deaf Association and often visited deaf schools.
Today, the Diana award is continuing to help deaf children and is given as a “lasting legacy to Princess Diana’s belief in the power of young people to change the world.”
Fourteen years after the heartbreaking end to Princess Diana’s life, her legacy and compassion lives on. The Diana Memorial Fund has given out 100 million British Pounds to over 350 good causes. She has shown that tolerance, love and caring can make a big difference in the world we live in, and I only wish that there were more like her in our world today.