"She could walk into a room of people and make them feel as if everything was great," Sir Elton John says of the late Princess Diana in an new documentary
In the upcoming ITV and HBO documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, friends, family and admirers of the late royal speak candidly about her charitable efforts, including Sir Elton John, who says that Diana’s efforts to promote HIV and AIDS awareness live on through her son.
“She had that incredible ability — which [Harry] knd of inherited — to make people feel at ease and make them feel that everything’s gonna be all right,” John, 70, says in the documentary. “I haven’t experienced many people in my life who have that ability, but she could walk into a room of people and make them feel as if everything was great.”
Diana was an early and very public campaigner for HIV and AIDS awareness and treatment. And, along with John, the documentary features appearances by Diana’s brother Charles Spencer and Rihanna, who took an HIV test alongside Harry in Barbados last December to help break the stigma of getting tested.
In recent years, Harry has championed the fight against the illness. In March, he traveled to Leicester to visit the Leicestershire Aids Support Service, the organization his mother visited just 25 years earlier.
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John recalled Diana’s efforts, lamenting the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS in past decades.
“It was considered to be a gay disease,” John says of the illness. “For someone who was within the Royal Family and who was a woman, and who was straight, to have someone care from the other side, was an incredible gift.”
Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy will air Monday, August 31, at 10 p.m. on HBO in the U.S. and 9 p.m. in the U.K. on ITV.
The show is one of several commemorations of the Princess in print and on film. PEOPLE and ABC have partnered in a two-night television event The Story of Diana, airing on Aug. 9 and 10 at 9 p.m. ET.