Kristen Stewart donates to two charities close to Princess Diana's heart: report

By Zach Harper

Princess Diana was famous for giving back and using her celebrity to highlight important causes, and Kristen Stewart has reportedly honoured her by donating to two charities that were deeply important to the late People's Princess.

The 31-year-old, who is getting Oscar buzz for her portrayal of Diana in Spencer, reportedly gave US$50 for each crew member to the National Aids Trust and Mines Advisory Group, according to Tatler.

In Spencer, Kristen portrays Diana during Christmas at the Royal Family's Sandringham estate in 1991. The film is set amidst the breakdown of Diana and Prince Charles's marriage, just over 10 years after they wed. It also stars Jack Farthing as the Prince of Wales, and sees the princess contemplating her future as she stands at a crossroads in her life.

"She felt so alive to me when I was making this movie, even if it's all between the ears and it was just a fantasy of mine," Kristen recently told the Los Angeles Times.

"But there were moments where my body and mind would forget she was dead. And suddenly, I would just have an image of what happened. And remember who she left behind. And I was amazed by the renewed emotion. Every single time. Maybe two or three times a week, I would just fully break down about the fact that she had died. I just could not come to terms with it, because I was fighting to keep her alive every single day."

Given this deeply emotional experience, it makes sense Kristen would want to thank Diana and contribute to organizations important to her and help further her work.

Of course, royals fans know Diana famously put HIV/AIDS and landmines on people's radars in the 1980s and 1990s, when they were getting little to no attention – or, in the case of the AIDS pandemic, the wrong attention. In the 1980s, there was much misinformation and fear being spread about the illness and the virus that causes it.

Diana shakes hands with an AIDS patient at London's Middlesex Hospital in 1987. Photo: © Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Diana visited AIDS hospices, including Toronto's Casey House. She first shook hands with AIDS patients and hugged them at London's Middlesex Hospital in 1987, when lack of awareness meant lots of people still thought HIV was spread through shaking hands and touching. Diana was a patron of the National Aids Trust, to which Kristen has reportedly donated, and helped open the Landmark Aids Centre in London. She also did a lot of fundraising for HIV/AIDS research throughout her life, and was praised by Nelson Mandela for it.

Diana's highlighting of the horrors of landmines captured worldwide attention in early 1997, when she visited Angola and spent time with people who had been disabled by the weapons. Landmines had been widely used throughout Angola's civil war of 1975 to 1991.

Princess Diana speaks with 14-year-old Sandra Thijika at the Neves Bendinha Orthopedic Workshop in Luanda, Angola in 1997. Sandra had lost her leg to a landmine three years earlier. Photo: © Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The length of the conflict, along with Angola becoming caught up in the Second Congo War of 1998 to 2003, means the country remains one of the most mined nations in the world, according to MAG, to which Kristen also reportedly donated. It destroys landmines, unexploded bombs and other weapons in former conflict zones.

Diana's time in Angola was done in connection with The HALO Trust, which also works to de-mine former conflict zones. Following her time in the country, she also visited Bosnia and Herzegovina later that year in connection with the Landmine Survivors Network.

Princess Diana met children and families, some of whom were landmine victims, on a visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 1997. Photo: © Stefan Rousseau - PA Images via Getty Images

RELATED: How Princess Diana's trip to Angola helped change the world

Diana's work on this issue is largely credited with helping advance the signing of the Ottawa Treaty, which banned landmines. The awareness she helped raise on the issue is also said to have helped the International Campaign to Ban Landmines to win the Nobel Peace Prize later in 1997. Unfortunately, she didn't live to see that happen.

Prince Harry and Prince William have both carried on Diana's work with HIV/AIDS and landmines, with the Duke of Sussex visiting Angola to retrace his mother's footsteps there on his southern African tour with Duchess Meghan in 2019.

Spencer premiered at the Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 3 and will also screen during this year's TIFF.


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