AIDS advocate Elizabeth Glaser formed close friendship with Princess Diana, son reveals

More than two decades after her death, new details are still emerging about Princess Diana’s personal life and public advocacy.

According to a recent report from People magazine, AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser’s son confirmed that his mother and the princess developed a close relationship before his mother’s death.

“Support and protect”

Jake Glaser indicated in an interview for World AIDS Day that his revelation was part of an effort to keep his mother’s legacy alive.

“Diana called my mom often in the last year of her life,” he said, according to People. “It was the love to support and protect their children that brought them together.”

Elizabeth Glaser reportedly contracted HIV in 1981 from an emergency blood transfusion necessitated after the birth of her daughter Ariel. She went on to unknowingly transmit the disease to that child through her breast milk and Jake was born with the virus three years later.

The family’s battle made national headlines when Glaser and her husband, actor Paul Michael Glaser, publicly addressed the situation in a 1988 interview shortly after Ariel died from HIV/AIDS at the age of 7.

That event sparked the grieving mother’s advocacy, which included the formation of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. She died from a related illness in 1994 at the age of 47.

“They really hit it off”

Jake Glaser noted that a mutual friend introduced his mother and Princess Diana and that their respective advocacy for children caused their friendship to blossom.

“They really hit it off from moment one,” he said, noting that Diana “was there for her as a friend and supportive voice.”

The two women frequently had “length phone calls” right up to the last days of Glaser’s life, his son said, recalling that someone would often have to hold the phone up to his mother’s ear to hear Diana’s voice.

Of course, Princess Diana’s life would also be cut tragically short as a result of an infamous car crash in 1997. A beloved figure across the United Kingdom and around the world, she was known as a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS research, among other issues close to her heart.

As Jake Glaser’s account reveals, her advocacy did not stop when the cameras turned off.

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