Princess Diana was truly the people's princess, always working to help as many people as she could. She used her international fame to shine a light on important causes and served as a patron or president of more than 100 charities during her time as a royal. So which ones were closest to her heart? We're taking a look in honor of what would have been her 58th birthday on July 1, 2019…
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A perfect example of Princess Diana using her notoriety to bring attention to an important cause? Her work with The Leprosy Mission England and Wales, an organization working to help those affected by leprosy. She single-handedly brought attention to leprosy-affected people and helped dispel the myths that it can be caught by actively visiting hospitals and touching patients when she visited Sitanala Leprosy Hospital in Indonesia in 1989 and a year later became the patron of The Leprosy Mission England and Wales. She went on to visit the charity's hospitals in India, Nepal and Zimbabwe, bringing even more attention to the cause until her tragic death in 1997.
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Another affliction that Princess Diana worked tirelessly to destigmatize? HIV and AIDS. The royal became a patron of the National AIDS Trust in 1991, and, like with The Leprosy Mission, it became one of the only charities she chose to dedicate herself to after her divorce form Prince Charles. Diana created a massive shift in public awareness about HIV and AIDS especially when she showed the world it was OK to touch people living with the disease.
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Princess Diana served as patron of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, a medical center serving children and young people across Britain. She often visited children there who were battling cancer or other diseases.
Princess Diana didn't forget about the elderly. She worked with Help the Aged, a U.K. charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged seniors from a life of poverty, isolation and neglect.
Princess Diana was active with Centrepoint, a charity that her eldest son, Prince William, now works with. The organization helps homeless young people get off the streets, giving them access to emergency night shelters and short-stay hostels and providing projects for young single parents and ex-offenders.
Children With Leukaemia is Britain's leading charity fighting this type of childhood cancer, and Princess Diana worked closely with the organization to help kids battling the disease. The group uses funds to research causes and treatments and help support the families currently working to beat the cancer.
Princess Diana also worked with the British Deaf Association. From 1983 until 1996, she served as patron of this group , which serves to help the deaf community and provide them with equality and access. Prince Andrew now serves as the patron of the organization.
Princess Diana was a patron of the London Symphony Orchestra and frequented concerts there — like this Christmas show to which a young Prince William tagged along in 1990.
Another organization close to Princess Diana's heart? Headway, the National Head Injuries Association. This group helps provide support and services to survivors and the families of those who have suffered from head injuries while also trying to promote information on brain injuries.
Princess Diana was a patron of the National Children's Orchestra, a charity dedicated to providing kids ages 7 to 14 with orchestral training. The group holds auditions every year in which 500 children are picked to join the orchestra.
The Guinness Trust was one of Princess Diana's patronages, one that passed on to Prince Charles. The organization works to provide affordable homes all over England for those in need.
Princess Diana was a fan of the arts, so it was a natural fit when she served as patron to the English National Ballet from 1989 until 1997.
Homestart is a charity started in the U.K. that's focused on helping young families overcome difficulties. Princess Diana was a patron of the organization.
Princess Diana also had a relationship with Caudwell Children, a nonprofit that works with disabled kids. The group assembles donations to help with children's medical treatments, therapies, specialized equipment and dying wishes.