7 Ways Prince Harry and Prince William Have Continued to Honor Princess Diana's Legacy

July 1 marks what would have been the late Princess Diana's 60th birthday. Take a look back at all of the ways Prince Harry and Prince William have paid tribute to their mother over the years.

By Elyse Dupre Jul 01, 2021 10:00 AMTags

While the public remembers Princess Diana as the people's princess, Prince William and Prince Harry will always think of her as "the best mum in the world."

"We felt incredibly loved, her and I," the Duke of Cambridge said in the 2017 documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, "and I'm very grateful that that love still feels there."

It's been almost 24 years since the Princess of Wales died. Her life ended at the age of 36 following a Paris car crash in 1997, and mourners would never forget watching William and Harry, who were just 15 and 12 at the time, walk behind their mother's coffin at her funeral.

Throughout their lives, the brothers have continued to honor Diana's legacy, including with their work, tributes and memories they share with their children. And now, on July 1, they're marking what would have been their mother's 60th birthday.

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In honor of the occasion, here's a look back at seven ways Harry and William have paid tribute to Diana over the years.

By Paying Tribute With a Statue Honoring Diana

On July 1 2021, what would have been Diana's 60th birthday, William and Harry gathered in Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden to unveil a statue of the late Princess of Wales.

"Today, on what would have been our Mother's 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character—qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better," they said in a statement shared by the palace. "Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy. Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother's memory alive."


In 2017, the Sunken Garden was temporarily renamed The White Garden and featured flowers in white and soft pastel colors as a nod to Diana's wardrobe, which was on display at the palace at the time. William and Harry also visited the garden ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death.

By Sharing Their Personal Memories About Diana

In addition, Harry and William marked the anniversary by participating in the HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. They recalled memories from their childhood and spoke about how she shaped who they are today.

"I give thanks that I was lucky enough to be her son and that I got to know her for the 15 years that I did," William said. "She set us up really well. She gave us the right tools and had prepared us well for life in the best way she could not obviously knowing what was going to happen."

Added Harry, "She was our mum. She still is our mum. And you know, of course as a son, I would say that she's the best mum in the world."

By Continuing Her Work

Harry and William have also carried on their mother's legacy by supporting organizations that were close to her heart. William, for instance, is patron of The Passage, which offers support and resources for people without a home. He first learned about its services during a 1993 visit with Diana and has continued to come by many times over the years. The Duke of Cambridge is also patron of Child Bereavement U.K., which offers support to children and families when a child grieves or dies. Diana attended and supported the non-profit's launch in 1994.

Similarly, Harry is continuing Diana's work of educating the public about HIV/AIDS and shattering stigmas. He's encouraged people to get tested and founded Sentebale—an organization he launched with Prince Seeiso to support young people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. Harry has also championed his mother's landmine clearance work. Diana walked through an active minefield in Angola in 1997 and is often credited with raising awareness for an international treaty against landmines, which was signed shortly after her death. Harry retraced her steps in 2019 and has spoken about the "vital mission of de-mining Angola."

By Remembering Her at Their Weddings

When William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010, he popped the question with the sapphire and diamond engagement ring that once belonged to his mother. The couple tied the knot in 2011 and made sure to recognize the Princess of Wales on their big day—such as by playing the hymn "Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer," which was sung at Diana's funeral.

Harry also picked significant stones for Meghan Markle's engagement ring when he proposed in 2017—choosing a center diamond from Botswana, which holds a special place in their hearts, and framing it between two diamonds from Diana's personal collection. And on their wedding day in 2018, the Duchess of Sussex walked down the aisle with a bouquet consisting of handpicked blooms from Harry and Forget-Me-Nots, Diana's favorite flower.

By Naming Their Children After Her

When William and Kate's daughter was born in 2015, they named her Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, with the middle monikers being nods to Queen Elizabeth II and Diana. Harry and Meghan also honored the Queen and Princess of Wales by naming their daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor after she was born in June 2021.

By Telling Their Kids About "Granny" Diana

Harry and William have made sure their little ones know all about Diana. In March, for instance, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealed that, every year on Mother's Day, their children—Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis—make cards remembering "Granny" Diana for William. And in Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, William said he's "constantly" talking about her with the kids.

"I do regularly, putting George and Charlotte to bed, talk about her and just trying to remind them that there are two grandmothers. There were two grandmothers in their lives," he said in the 2017 doc. "And so, it's important that they know how she was and she existed." 

And in his Apple TV+ docuseries with Oprah Winfrey, titled The Me You Can't See, Harry recalled how one of the first words said by his son Archie Harrison was "grandma." 

"I've got a photo up in his nursery, and it was one of the first words that he said—apart from 'mama,' 'papa,' it was then 'grandma.' Grandma Diana," he said. "It's the sweetest thing, but at the same time, it makes me really sad because she should be here."

By the Way They Live Their Lives

"There's not many days that go by that I don't think of her, you know?" William said in Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. "Sometimes sad, sometimes very positively. You know, I have a smile every now and again when someone says something, and I think that's exactly what she would have said or she would have enjoyed that comment. So, they always live with you—the people that you lose like that—and my mother lives with me every day."

"I have no doubt that my mum would be incredibly proud of me," Harry said in The Me You Can't See. "I'm living the life that she wanted to live for herself, living the life she wanted us to be able to live. So, not only do I know she's incredibly proud of me but that she's helped me get here. And I've never felt her presence more as I have done over the last year."


Watch Peacock's Diana special, streaming now on Peacock.