Prince Harry Pays Tribute to Princess Diana in Surprise Video Message to Changemakers

The Duke of Sussex delivered a surprise video address at the 2020 Diana Awards on what would've been Princess Diana's 59th birthday

By Allison Crist 01 Jul, 2020 7:21 PMTags
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A meaningful message made even more poignant.

Prince Harry delivered a surprise video address at the virtual Diana Awards on Wednesday, commending the charity's 2020 honorees for creating and sustaining positive change in memory of the late Princess Diana

What made the Duke of Sussex's speech even more special was that it came on what would've been his Princess Diana's 59th birthday.

"I am so incredibly proud to be part of these awards as they honor the legacy of my mother and bring out the very best in people like you," Harry said. "You are all doing such incredible work and at a time of great uncertainty, you have found the power and inspiration inside of you, to make a positive mark on the world, and I love that The Diana Award is able to help you do it."

He continued, "I know that my mother has been an inspiration to many of you and I can assure you she would have been fighting your corner. Like many of you, she never took the easy route, or the popular one, or the comfortable one, but she stood for something and she stood up for people who needed it."

Prince Harry then referenced the Black Lives Matter movement, noting that "we're seeing situations around the world where division, isolation and anger are dominating as pain and trauma come to the surface."

"But I see the greatest hope in people like you and I'm confident about the world's future and its ability to heal because it is in your hands," the Duke expressed.

Harry also brought up something he said his wife, Meghan Markle, recently told him: "Our generation and the ones before us haven't done enough to right the wrongs of the past."

"I too, am sorry. Sorry that we haven't got the world to the place that you deserve it to be," Prince Harry told the ceremony attendees. "Institutional racism has no place in our societies, yet it is still endemic. Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame, to create a better world for all of you."

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He continued, "I want you to know that we are committed to being part of the solution and to being part of the change you are all leading. Now is the time and we know that you can do it."

Before handing the mic over, Harry gave a special shout-out to the Diana Award recipients who are being recognized for their work on issues related to race and injustice, saying their voices are "far more important" than his.

Prince Harry's message for the organization—which was established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1999—is one of the many public displays he, along with Meghan, have made in support of racial justice and civil rights issues. 

Last month, the Duchess of Sussex gave a powerful commencement speech to her high school alma mater, admitting that she couldn't speak to the graduates without mentioning George Floyd's death.

"I wanted to say the right thing," Meghan told the Immaculate Heart High School students. "And I was really nervous that I wouldn't, or that it would get picked apart. And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing. Because George Floyd's life mattered, and Breonna Taylor's life mattered, and Philando Castile's life mattered, and Tamir Rice's life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know. Stephon Clark. His life mattered."

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She continued, "We are seeing people stand in solidarity. We are seeing communities come together and to uplift. And you are going to be part of this movement...You are going to use your voice in a stronger way than you've ever been able to. Because most of you are 18 or you're going to turn 18, so you're going to vote."

"You are going to have empathy for those who don't see the world through the same lens that you do because with as diverse, and vibrant and opened-minded as I know the teachings at Immaculate Heart are, I know you know that Black lives matter," Meghan added before wrapping up her remarks. "Please know that I am cheering you on all along the way. I'm exceptionally proud of you, and I'm wishing you a huge congratulations on today, the start of all the impact you're going to make in the world as the leaders that we all so deeply crave. Congratulations, ladies, and thank you in advance."