Prince William and Prince Harry paid tribute to their mother Diana, Princess of Wales at an awards ceremony on Thursday (May 18), saying that their mom continues to inspire others. The royal brothers met 20 young people who were recipients of the Diana Awards Inaugural Legacy Awards – awards given to those who have shown immense compassion and kindness to others. William, 34, and Harry, 32, gave speeches, paying tribute to the late People's Princess.
"This summer marks 20 years since our mother died," said William. "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, that she was taken at only 36, just slightly older than I am today."
The future King poignantly added: "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. And it 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 on the world around them."
Harry went on to emphasise his mother's incredible work. "One of the things our mother taught William and I was the value of doing good when no one is watching," said Harry. "She visited hospitals late at night to comfort patients; she spent hours writing letters to privately support the work of others; she achieved a lot by shining a spotlight, but she worked just as hard when the cameras were gone."
During the ceremony held in the Throne Room at St James's Palace, William and Harry met the 20 young recipients from the UK, United States, Canada, India, Belize and the United Arab Emirates, and spoke to them about their honourable deeds. Harry was introduced to Jemima Browning, 16, from Stutton, North Yorkshire, who has dedicated hours of her time to improving the lives of young people with disabilities through swimming, inspired by her brother who has Down's. Harry said that he had heard all about Jemima's work through his friend, Invictus swimmer Dave Wiseman, saying: "He told me you would be Prime Minister one day!"
He also sank to his knee to speak to Jonathan Bryan, 11, from Stanton St Quintin, Wiltshire. The youngster has a number of disabilities and communicated with Harry using a spelling board. "How does this work?" Harry asked Jonathan, who spelt out his answers to the royal. "What do you call it? Do you find this a very good way to express yourself?"