Meghan and Harry mark Pride month with special message that also honours Princess Diana

By Zach Harper

Happy Pride month! Every June, festivities are held in support of LGBTQ+ equality worldwide. This year is the 50th anniversary of the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ movement that began at New York’s Stonewall Inn in 1969, and Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have recognized it in a very touching way.

On Saturday (June 1), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took to Instagram to post a montage of nine photos from LGBTQ+ accounts they’ve chosen to follow throughout the month. The couple plan to shine a spotlight on all the work the organizations do.

“We stand with you and support you,” the post reads, along with a rainbow emoji. “Because it’s very simple: love is love.”

The couple are now following 11 accounts, including the It Gets Better Project, the Human Rights Campaign, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Stonewall UK, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, SAGE USA, AKT, PFLAG and The Trevor Project.

Princess Diana is often credited for helping break down the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. Photo: © Jayne Fincher/Getty Images

Royal fans will note the couple included an image of Princess Diana, Harry’s late mother. It features Diana sitting on a hospital bed with a patient at a London facility that was treating people with HIV/AIDS in 1996.

MORE: Remembering how Princess Diana gave back to the LGBTQ community

Of course, this wasn’t the first time Diana visited people with HIV/AIDS. The late Princess of Wales is widely credited with having helped break down stigma around the illness by visiting HIV/AIDS patients. She first did so in 1987, when she opened the UK’s first HIV/AIDS unit caring for people with the disease. She also shook hands with patients there and did not wear gloves. At the time, there was a widely held misconception that HIV was spread through touch.

Diana visiting Toronto’s Casey House in 1991 (left) and opening London’s first treatment centre for people with HIV/AIDS in 1987 (right). Photos: © Tim Graham/Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Also of note is an image in the very top left of the compilation Harry and Meghan posted. It is a portrait of Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman and transgender rights activist who was fatally shot last month in Dallas, Texas. She was the fourth of five transgender women known to have been killed in an attack in the United States this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

MORE: Prince Harry continues Princess Diana’s work to end HIV stigma

In 2017, Harry made the remarkable move of getting himself tested for HIV at the Terrence Higgins Trust's HIV testing centre to show young people why it's so important to know your HIV status. While there, he spoke with Andrew Bates, a volunteer who was diagnosed with HIV in 2016.

“[I want] to be an advocate for HIV positive people, and show the world that life doesn’t end after getting an HIV diagnosis,” Andrew told the prince.

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