COMPASSIONATE QUEEN MAKES MOVING VISIT TO UGANDA AIDS CLINIC

23 NOVEMBER 2007

After their romantic trip to Malta, it was back to business for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The royal couple flew directly to Uganda from the island, receiving a rapturous welcome from the country they last visited in 1954. And - in a move that brought back memories of Princess Diana – the Queen used her visit to help break the stigma of AIDS in the African country, shaking hands with a sufferer of the disease.

The historic moment happened during the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's visit to the Mildmay Centre, where the monarch unveiled a plaque for the St Elizabeth ward, named in her honour. They also met with OBE-winning nurse Ruth Sims, who began work in the centre after retiring from her job in Britain in 2001.

The highlight of the visit, however, came at the end, when some of the clinic's youngest patients put on a five-minute fashion show of traditional Ugandan outfits. Beaming with delight, the royal guests happily waved to the young participants – some only two-years-old – as they strutted down an impromptu catwalk.

Outside the centre, the Queen was greeted with a mural of herself and members of her family painted by 55-year-old artist Joackim Onyango Ndalo.

On Friday, the Queen and Prince Philip were joined by their son, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, for the start of the Commonweath Heads Of Government Meeting. It is the first time the summit has been held in Uganda.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Eighteen years after Diana became the first royal to shake the hand of an HIV-positive patient, the Queen has visited a special centre for sufferers of HIV/AIDS in Uganda Photo: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The royal couple laughed throughout as children from the Mildmay Centre put on a special fashion show Photo: © Rex
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Prince Charles and Camilla also received a warm welcome in the East African country, where they are attending the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government meetingPhoto: © Getty Images