Prince Harry on Friday said that he sees Princess Diana’s legacy in his “own children every day” in a speech honoring her on her birthday.
“Today, we’re reflecting on what would have been my mother’s 61st birthday,” Harry said during a virtual ceremony to the recipients of the Diana Awards, which honors young philanthropists, People magazine reported. It was set up in 1999, two years after her untimely death in a car crash in Paris at 36 years old. “And this year is also 25 years since her passing. There isn’t a day during the past two and half decades where I haven’t thought about the mark she left not only on me and my brother but on all of our lives.”
Harry said he saw his mother’s legacy – who was known for her charitable work – in the recipients.
“I see her legacy in a Diana Award community that spans multiple generations,” he continued. “I see her legacy every time I meet with 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 day.”
Harry has a son, Archie, 3, and a daughter Lilibet, 1, whom he shares with his wife Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor at a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond &amp; Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville – Pool/Getty Images)
He said that Diana taught his brother Prince William and him to “speak up and fight for a better world,” adding that he felt “as a husband and a parent, my mother’s voice is even stronger in my life.”
William also honored his mother in a letter to the honorees that said in part, “You truly are the personification of my mother’s legacy and I know she would be so proud of you all. I believe there’s no better way to celebrate her life and work than through recognising incredible people who dedicate so much time and effort to helping those around them.”
William and Harry now 39 and 37 were just 15 and 12 when their mother died. Images of the two young boys walking behind their mother’s coffin at her funeral in 1997 were burned into many people’s memories that day.
While the brothers’ relationship has been strained for the last few years, they briefly reunited last summer to unveil a statue erected in their mother’s memory for her 60th birthday in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden.
In May of this year, William spoke of his own grief as he gave a personal tribute to the families of 22 people who were killed when a suicide bomber targeted an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena five years ago. He and his wife, Kate Middleton, attended the official opening of a public memorial in the city.
The prince told the families of those who died he knew that “the pain and the trauma felt by many has not gone away.”
“As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten,” said William. “There is comfort in remembering. In acknowledging that, while taken horribly soon, they lived.”
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