Speaking at the Diana Awards ceremony at St James’s Palace, Prince William gave a touching tribute to his late mother when he said she is still the inspiration behind “countless acts of compassion and bravery”.
Joined by his brother, Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge spoke warmly about their mother’s legacy, saying: “This summer marks 20 years since our mother died, and she achieved so much in her life, from helping to shatter the stigma around Aids, to fighting to ban landmines and supporting the homeless – she touched the lives of millions.
“The truth is though, she was taken at only 36, just slightly older than I am today.
“Of course we can never know what our mother would have gone on to do, but in one sense Harry and I feel that our mother lives on in the countless acts of compassion and bravery that she inspires in others.
“That is why we are so pleased that her name is being put to good use by the Diana Award to recognise young people who are making a mark in the world around them.”
The Diana Award was established to promote the late Princess’s belief in the positive power of young people. This year marked the first time the Legacy Award has been granted, which recognises Diana’s memory in the year that marks two decades since her tragic passing. Legacy Award winners were those who demonstrated the combined qualities of compassion, kindness and service.
The 20 young people, aged from eleven to their late teens, who received awards were recognised for their efforts creating positive social change. Hailing from the UK but also Canada, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Belize and India, all winners had the opportunity to speak to the Princes and share their stories.
Prince Harry was impressed by the young people’s achievements saying: “I cannot believe how young you all are, most of you are still at school. When you get some spare time on your hands, you’re saving lives and inspiring people.
“You should be absolutely proud of what you’ve started and what you’ve achieved, you’re still in your teenage years – don’t stop now guys.”