Princes William and Harry share emotional tributes to Princess Diana on what would have been her 61st birthday

Publish Date
Monday, 4 July 2022, 10:24AM

Every year, Prince William and Prince Harry honour their late mother on her birthday.

But while the brothers did not meet up in person this time, they both took a moment to reflect on Princess Diana's impressive and lasting legacy in emotional tributes.

In honour of what would have been the People Princess' 61st birthday, William penned an emotional letter to the winners of the Diana Award, which celebrates people between the ages of nine and 25 for their important humanitarian work and social action.

Written on official Kensington Palace stationery emblazoned with the royal's cypher, a "W" — the 40-year-old wrote: "Congratulations on receiving The Diana Award today! You are part of an inspirational generation of young people who are changing the world through your actions, and I hugely admire your effort.

"Your stories are remarkable. Many of you face huge challenges in the face of difficult times, yet you are tirelessly breaking down barriers to create a better future for us all."

He continued, "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."

While Harry recorded an emotional video message that was shared as a part of the award's virtual ceremony.

The Duke of Sussex began by reflecting on the loss of his mother, saying: "Today, we're reflecting on what would have been my mother's 61st birthday. 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.

"I see her legacy in all of you. I see her legacy in a Diana Award community that spans multiple generations. I see her legacy every time I meet with families, young people, and children from all corners of the world. I see my mum's legacy when I look at my own children every day."

He continued: "My mother instilled in me, and in all of us, a drive to speak up and fight for a better world. And now as a husband and a parent, my mother's voice is even stronger in my life.

"All of you have helped keep her voice alive by showing the world how each small action counts, how kindness is still valued, and how our world can be better if we choose to make it so."

The Diana Award takes place annually on the late Princess' birthday. It was established in 1999 in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world.

The beloved princess died at the age of 36 when the car she was travelling in crashed in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997.

William and Harry were just 15 and 12 at the time.