Prince Harry sees Diana's legacy in his children

'My mother instilled in me, and in all of us, a drive to speak up and fight for a better world,' Duke of Sussex says

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, at the statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, at Kensington Palace in London. Getty Images
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Prince Harry sees his mother's “legacy” when he looks at his children, he said on Friday as he hailed the recipients of an award given in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duke of Sussex launched the virtual Diana Award ceremony by telling young “change-makers” that their positive actions kept the princess's voice “alive” and that they were the solution to the “disagreement, conflict and anger” seen around the globe.

In a written tribute to the award winners, Prince William also praised the group of more than 180 from around the world and echoed his brother's words by saying they were the “personification of my mother's legacy”.

The two brothers are at the centre of a family rift that has caused Prince Harry move to the US and retire from royal life.

Speaking at the start of the awards ceremony Prince Harry said: “There isn't a day during the past two and a half decades I haven't thought about the mark she left not only on me and my brother but on all of our lives.

“I see her legacy in all of you, I see her legacy in a Diana Award community that spans multiple generations.

“I see her legacy every time I meet families, young people and children from all corners of the world.

“And I see my mum's legacy when I look at my own children every single day.”

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, brought their children, Archie, aged 3, and 1-year-old Lilibet, to the UK in June when they attended celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee.

“My mother instilled in me, and in all of us, a drive to speak up and fight for a better world and now, as a husband and a parent, my mother's voice is even stronger in my life,” the duke added.

“All of you have kept her voice alive by showing the world how each small action counts, how kindness is still valued and how our world can be better if we choose to make it so.”

The Diana Award was created to promote the princess's belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better and the ceremony was held on what would have been her 61st birthday.

The organisation's three key initiatives are a mentoring programme for young people at risk; a youth-led, anti-bullying ambassadors’ campaign; and the Diana Award, which recognises young people for their social action or humanitarian work.

During the virtual ceremony, more than 180 children and young people were recognised for inspiring their peers to support their communities by campaigning, volunteering, fighting injustice or overcoming extreme life challenges.

Prince William said in his written tribute to the recipients: “Your stories are remarkable.

“Many of you face huge challenges in the face of difficult times, yet you are tirelessly breaking down barriers to create a better future for us all.

“Thank you for your compassion, bravery and absolute determination.

“You truly are the personification of my mother's legacy and I know she would be so proud of you all.”

Prince Harry concluded the ceremony by telling the young people watching they could “create positive change”.

“We know that our young people face unique challenges to their mental health and well-being, increasing social and economic barriers, and a world consumed by disagreement, conflict and anger,” he said.

“But we need to listen to you and we need to empower you, because you are our only way out of the mess.”

Updated: July 01, 2022, 10:25 PM