In a special speech for the 2022 Diana Awards, Prince Harry paid a moving tribute to his late mother, Princess Diana, reflecting on how she would have turned 61 on Friday.
The Diana Prize was established in 1999, two years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and is the “most prestigious award” a young person aged 9 to 25 can receive for their social or humanitarian work, according to its website.
The 2022 awards were created on Friday – Diana’s birthday – with Harry giving the ceremony’s keynote address. Harry said not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about “the mark she left on not just me and my brother, but all of our lives”.
“I see his legacy in all of you. I see his legacy in a Diana Award community that spans generations,” the Duke of Sussex said. “I see his legacy every time I meet families, young people and children from all corners of the world.”
The prince also made reference to his children, saying he also sees in them his mother’s legacy. As a husband and parent, he said Diana’s voice was “even stronger” in his life.
He called this year a “special year”, encouraging viewers to take more time to reflect on Diana’s legacy and how it lives on through the changemakers honored with the awards.
“My mum instilled in me and all of us the will to speak out and fight for a better world,” said Harry, adding, “You all kept her voice alive by showing the world how much each small action matters, how kindness is still valued and how our world can be a better place if we choose to make it that way.”
He ended his speech by congratulating everyone involved in the ceremony and encouraging them to continue to make a difference, following the legacy of the award’s namesake.
“Never give up on the idea that each of you can create lasting and much-needed change,” he said.
Harry also returned later in the ceremony to spotlight one of the Diana Award recipients and again at the end to close the ceremony. In his closing remarks, he spoke of the legacy his generation left for the next generation.
“The rest of us, well, we haven’t made it easy for you. We know that our young people face unique mental health and well-being challenges, growing social and economic barriers, and a corroded world. through disagreements, conflicts and anger,” he says. “But we have to listen to you and we have to hold you accountable, because you are our only way out of trouble. Although you shouldn’t be solely responsible for cleaning up, I truly believe that you have the ability and leadership to do so. And our role should be to invest in you and have you at the table when big decisions are made.
The Duke of Sussex concluded by saying he saw his mother’s spirit in the changemakers, thanking them for “keeping his fire alive”.
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