On what would have been? Princess Diana’s 61st birthday, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry honored her legacy by addressing the winners of the Diana Awards 2022 separately.
In a letter sent to award winners, the Duke of Cambridge congratulated and thanked the winners for their efforts and condolences.
“You really are the personification of my mother’s legacy and I know she would be so proud of you,” said William. “I believe there is no better way to celebrate her life and work than by recognizing incredible people who put so much time and effort into helping those around them.”
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Meanwhile, the Duke of Sussex made an appearance during the virtual awards ceremony, where he discussed his mother’s impact on the world and the importance of young changemakers.
“There hasn’t been a day in the past two decades when I haven’t thought about the mark she left, not just on me and my brother, but on our whole lives,” Harry said.
“You all kept her voice alive by showing the world how every little action counts, how kindness is still valued and how our world can be a better place if we choose to make it that way.”
He also admitted that older generations have caused social and economic strife and conflict. He said they have a responsibility to invest in young leaders who make a positive impact.
“We must listen to you and we must give you strength, because you are our only way out of this mess,” Harry continued.
“While you shouldn’t be solely responsible for the cleanup, I truly believe you are the ones with the capacity and leadership to do it.”
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Harry closed the ceremony by thanking the winners and making a touching reference to his mother.
“I know my mother’s memory will never fade, because I see her spirit in each of you,” he said. “Thank you for keeping her fire alive.”
The Diana Awards are presented to young people between the ages of nine and 25 for their social and humanitarian work.
Erected in memory of the Princess of Wales in 1999, this year’s winners These include changemakers who have designed projects to improve computer literacy in developing countries, improved access to mental health support, delivered period products and resources to underserved communities, and conducted sustainability-focused community events for youth.
One of the recipients is Australian Chantel Contos, who has been recognized for her work at Teach Us Consent.
A few years ago, she exposed the misogynistic attitudes within Australian schools and helped collect more than 6,000 testimonials from women and girls. The Diana Awards say she “used her voice to improve consent sex education and break cultures of silence around sexual harassment, abuse and rape culture.”
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Winners are usually invited to attend an awards ceremony in their area (although this year was virtual) and get access to a development program which aims to “further enhance their already proven capacity for innovation, leadership and social change, through access to resources, opportunities and training, both in person and online.”
During her lifetime, Princess Diana was best known for her charitable work. She was a patron of the arts, the Red Cross, charities in other parts of the world, and most notably her work with AIDS patients in the 1980s.
She became the first British royal figure to make physical contact with AIDS patients and continued her work in this field despite the Queen’s disapproval†
Her sons have followed in her philanthropic footsteps. Harry continued doing work for AIDS charities and during the COVID-19 pandemic, became an advocate for the vaccination effort. William has pronounced about LGBTQ rights, and helped raise awareness for mental health.
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