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Prince Harry Surprises Diana Award Winners ahead of statue unveiling, Says Princess ‘Would Be So Proud of You All’

Credit: WellChild


Prince Harry Surprises Diana Award Winners ahead of statue unveiling, Says Princess ‘Would Be So Proud of You All’


Prince Harry surprised winners of his late mother’s Diana Awards, thanking the group of young people for their varied services to society, ahead of the installation of a monument in her honor.

“I’m truly honored to be celebrating your work, your commitment to change making and the vital role that you’ve taken on representing a new generation of humanitarianism,” Harry, 36, said in his speech.

The 36-year-old went on to say: “Never be afraid to do what’s right. Stand up for what you believe in and trust that when you live by truth and in service to others, people will see that just as they did with my mum.”

“Later this week, my brother and I are recognizing what would have been our mum’s 60th birthday,” Harry continued, “and she would be so proud of you all for living authentic life with purpose and with compassion for others.”

He said, “Our mum believed that young people have the power to change the world. She believed in your strength because she saw it day in and day out and in the faces of young people exactly like you, she witnessed a boundless enthusiasm and passion.”

He went on to say that his wife, Meghan Markle, is similarly committed to helping future generations, saying, “Meg and I fundamentally believe that our world is at the cusp of change, real change for the good of all.”


Tessy Ojo, CEO of the Diana Award foundation, tells PEOPLE of Harry’s speech, “It is such an honor to have the Duke of Sussex saying this wonderful message of congratulations to the young people. For him to say to the young people that his mother would be proud of them means so much. It is such an honor that he is proud of the young people and the work they do. And it is such a massive pat on the back for them and their families.

“Every time her sons talk about the pride they have in the work that is being done in her name, brings me so much joy.”

The Diana Award was established in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief in the next generation’s ability to change the world for the better.

The organization honors the accomplishments of 300 young people aged nine to 25 from across the globe, with the event taking place in what would have been the princess’s 60th year.

Despite the fact that the majority of today’s award winners were not even born at the same time as Princess Diana, the chief executive said that the princess “set the tone that young people today still find incredibly relevant, it resonates with them. When I hear young people saying to us, ‘If I could be half the person she was, I want to make her proud or I am trying to follow that example,’ [that] says something about the incredible person and icon that she was.”

Ojo also said that the monument being dedicated in her honor this month at Kensington Palace is a “landmark moment. She was ahead of her time. She reminds us about what humanity is about—to be able to care for others without any personal gain. She really symbolizes that and I hope that this moment will help us focus on what truly matters in society.”

Harry, who arrived in the United Kingdom late last week in order to unveil a statue dedicated to his mother alongside brother Prince William on Thursday, was speaking as he introduced Jacqueline Teague, a 16-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, resident, as one of the 25 young people from the United States. Teague was being recognized for her efforts in helping individuals to be vaccinated, and Harry talked in his speech about how COVID-19 disproportionately impacted those on the edges of society.

Harry is quarantining himself at his Frogmore Cottage in preparation for the installation of the monument commissioned by him and Prince William, 39, to honor their mother’s memory.

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