Prince Harry has mentioned how he sees Lilibet and Archie as his mother’s “legacy” every day.
The 37-year-old Duke of Sussex paid tribute to the Princess of Wales on the eve of her 61st birthday while speaking at a virtual Diana Awards ceremony.
He continued by claiming that since becoming a parent to Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, as well as Meghan’s husband, his “mother’s voice” has grown “even stronger” in his life.
In a letter to the winners, his 40-year-old brother Prince William, who was not present at the ceremony, wrote that his mother would be “so proud” of what they had accomplished.
The awards, which were streamed online, are presented annually in Diana’s honor—she passed away 25 years ago.
The Diana Award recognizes those between the ages of 9 and 25 who have made a difference in the world.
180 young philanthropists from 29 nations, including 40 from the UK, were honored at the ceremony.
Prince Harry welcomed the young competitors to the awards via video link from an unidentified location.
He claimed, “My mother gave me the desire to speak out and fight for a better world.” And now that I am a husband and a parent, my mother’s influence in my life is even more pronounced.
There hasn’t been a day in the past 25 years that I haven’t considered the impact she had on all of our lives, not just on mine and my brother’s, he said.
I recognize her legacy in every one of you. I recognize her legacy among the multi-generational Diana Award community. Every time I interact with families, young people, and kids from all over the world, I see her legacy.
“And I see my mother’s legacy every day when I look at my own children… I can see my mother’s spirit in each and every one of you, so I know the memory of her won’t ever fade.
His relationship with his brother Prince William has appeared strained in recent years, but he stated during his speech that Diana’s “mark” is still present.
There hasn’t been a day in the past 25 years that I haven’t thought about the impact she had on our lives as a whole, not just on my brother and I, he continued.
The brothers last interacted during the Queen’s platinum celebrations in early June, when they both attended the monarch’s thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral on June 3.
He welcomed the attendees and said, “Today we’re reflecting on what would have been my mother’s 61st birthday.” Additionally, this year marks 25 years since her passing.
This year in particular, he continued, “I hope we take the extra time to not just remember her as she lived, but to reflect on the life she continues to lead through so many, including the young Changemakers here today.”
By demonstrating to the world how each small deed counts, how kindness is still valued, and how our world can be better if we choose to make it so, you have all kept her voice alive.
“To everyone who has participated in this afternoon, please know that you have already made a difference and that we depend on you to keep doing so.
“Never give up on the idea that each of you can bring about the necessary and lasting change.”
“What if we choose to believe in the idea that one person can change the world?” he asked as he brought the ceremony to a close. What if we already understand that is conceivable?
No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your background is, you can make a positive difference in the world, if you only remember one thing from today.
“My mother understood that young people have the potential to achieve anything and can behave maturely, serving as the leaders we so urgently require at this time.” For the most part, we haven’t made it simple for you.
The world is rife with disagreement, conflict, and anger, and we are aware that our young people face particular difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing.
But you are the only person who can get us out of this mess, so we need to listen to you and give you power.
I firmly believe that you are the ones with the leadership and capability to do so, even though you shouldn’t be responsible for cleaning it up alone.
And our responsibility should be to support you and include you in important decisions.
I can see my mother’s spirit in each of you, so I know the memory I have of her will never fade. I’d like to thank you for maintaining her fire.
Prince William also congratulated the winners on receiving the Diana Award today in a letter to them.
“I sincerely admire your efforts. You are a member of an inspiring generation of young people who are making a positive difference in the world. Your tales are amazing.
Many of you face significant obstacles in the face of adversity, but you work tirelessly to remove obstacles to build a better future for all of us.
“I want to thank you for your kindness, bravery, and unwavering resolve. You all truly embody my mother’s legacy, and I know she would be so proud of all of you.
The monarch continued, “In my opinion, there is no better way to honor her life and accomplishments than by recognizing extraordinary people who invest so much time and energy in assisting those around them.
“I hope you enjoy today’s ceremony because you deserve it and that you stand proud in the knowledge that you are making a real difference,” the speaker said.
The Diana Award is the only organization bearing their mother’s name that is supported by both William and his brother, Prince Harry.
The Diana Award was created in 1999, two years after Diana, Princess of Wales, passed away, in honor of her and her conviction that youth can make a positive difference in the world.
The nonprofit organization sponsors mentoring and anti-bullying initiatives as well as awards young people for their inspirational work.
Numerous people and their communities nominate thousands of young people each year to honor these selfless deeds.
In the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, William and Harry unveiled a statue of the late Princess together the previous year.
‘Today, on what would have been our Mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, improving countless lives,’ they said in a joint statement.
We wish she were still with us every day, and we hope that this statue will always be regarded as a representation of her life and legacy.