Princess Diana's Boys: William & Harry Now
GIVING KIDS A LIFT
THEN: Diana beamed as a child toyed with her royal gems during a visit to a hostel for HIV-positive and abandoned children in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 1991.
NOW: Harry gets acquainted with 6-year-old orphan Mutsu Potsane at the Mants'ase children's home in Lesotho, South Africa, where the prince launched a charitable initiative, called "Sentebale" (translation: Forget Me Not), in memory of his mother. "[Harry] has inherited his mother's extraordinary empathy," a senior Palace source has said of the younger Prince. "He engages with children and young people.
PITCHING IN WITH THE RED CROSS
THEN: During a four-day tour of Zimbabwe in 1993, Diana rolled up her sleeves at the Nemazura feeding center – a Red Cross project for refugees. "Without that help not only the kids we have fed, but also the elders, would have passed away," said local tribal chief, Fortune Charumbira.
NOW: Following the Asian tsunami of 2004, both William and Harry packed boxes of emergency supplies, bound for victims in the Maldives, at a Red Cross depot in Bristol, England. "We just wanted to be hands-on," Harry told the British press. A family friend told reporters of the princes' volunteer work: "They want to perpetuate her and her memory by doing some of the things, and championing some of the causes, that she did."
THEN: Diana cuddled a tot during a visit to an orthopedic center for landmine victims in Luanda, Angola, in 1997. "There was not much hope for me or my country then," mine victim Sandra Tigica said recently. ''But Diana turned that around. "Because of her, Angola was able to get help from the world."
NOW: It's William's turn to play nursemaid, cradling 3-week-old Sina Nuru in the Winnicott Baby Unit at London's St. Mary's Hospital, where years earlier, a disguised Diana secretly visited new mothers and premature infants. Nurse Ann Mason observed, "He was very at ease with the babies. He's got the same touch as [his mother], the same manner."
CHAMPIONING CANCER CHARITIES
THEN: Diana found a new friend in 4-year-old Camila Fiocco when she visited Northwick Park Hospital in July 1997. "She did not go on to another ward without insisting on speaking to every child and there were three wards." Michael Cole, chief executive of the hospital trust, said of her visit. "She was very warm, compassionate and caring."
NOW: Carrying his mother's mantle, Harry checks in with Samantha Ledster, 11, in the oncology department of London's Great Ormond Street Hospital. "It wasn't just a one-off thing," said Harry, who made the trip on his 18th birthday. "I've wanted to do something like this for a long time. I always wanted to do it, but especially after my mother died."
HELPING THE HOMELESS
THEN: As a Patron of Centrepoint charity for the homeless, Diana chatted with young people about their plight during a visit to a London hostel in 1997. The princess often took her sons with her when she dropped in on shelters. "She said, 'I want them to see what it's like for the homeless, the down-and-outs,'" recalled Ken Wharfe, Diana's former bodyguard.
NOW: William, who took over his mother's position as Patron, checks in with a resident of a Centrepoint shelter. "I was influenced a lot by my visits to hostels with my mother when I was younger," William has said. "I learned a lot from it, more so that I [knew] at the time."
PRINCES OF HEARTS
THEN: Diana brought young Wills out to meet his subjects on St. David's Day in 1991. "She dealt with the media incredibly well and taught Will and Harry that it's part of their life too," says Wharfe, who recalls Diana gently chiding William after the youngster cowered from photographers. "She said, 'You better get used to it. Just smile and wave and move on.'"
NOW: Smile? Check! Wave? Check! But instead of moving on, William pauses to relish time with his public in 2007.
THEN: Diana had a powwow with a patient at St. Joseph's Hospice in Hackney, London, in 1985. The princess explained to ABC's Martin Bashir that she brought her sons along on such trips because, "I want them to have an understanding of people's emotions, of people's insecurities, of people's distress, of their hopes and dreams."
NOW: Prince William took time out to sit down with a group of delighted octogenarians at the lunch club for the elderly at the Sighthill Community Education Center in Glasgow, Scotland. "He instinctively showed the kindness, warmth and natural charm he has so obviously inherited from his mother," local resident Faye Hunter told the Sunday Express of the future king's visit.
SUPPORTING THE MILITARY
THEN: Two weeks before her death, Diana posed with French soldiers serving in the NATO-led peace force at the Sarajevo airport. "Everyone is loving her," said Captain Jean-Luc Baldillou at the time. "It was very good of her. The men really enjoyed it."
NOW: With Harry leading the charge, the brothers entered Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and insisted they be treated as any other cadet. "The last thing I want is to be mollycoddled or wrapped up in cotton wool," said William. Harry has made the army his career, though he was recently barred from joining his regiment in Iraq because of the risk. At the Concert for Diana, he reached out to his fellow officers: "I wish I was there with you. I'm sorry I can't be. To you and everyone on operations we'd both like to say stay safe."