Princess Diana dedicated her life to service.
And on July 1, what would have been the late Princess of Wales' 61st birthday, Prince William honored her legacy by sending a letter to the recipients of The Diana Award, an accolade given to young changemakers between the ages of 9 and 25 for their social action or humanitarian work.
"Congratulations on receiving The Diana Award today!" he wrote. "You are part of an inspirational generation of young people who are changing the world through your actions, and I hugely admire your efforts."
The Duke of Cambridge went on to praise the "remarkable" stories of the recipients. "Many of you face huge challenges in the face of difficult times," he continued, "yet you are tirelessly breaking down barriers to create a better future for us all."
And he thanked them for their "compassion, bravery and absolute determination," adding, "You truly are the personification of my mother's legacy and I know she would be so proud of you all."
William expressed how he believes "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" and he concluded his letter by congratulating them once again.
"I hope that you stand proud in the knowledge that you are making a real difference," he wrote, "and that you enjoy today's ceremony—you deserve it!"
In a surprise video address, Prince Harry also delivered a tribute to his late mom when speaking to the latest recipients of the Diana Award. "This year is also 25 years since her passing," he said. "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," he continued. "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. And, I see my mum's legacy when I look at my own children every day."
Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle are parents to 3-year-old son Archie Harrison and 12-month-old daughter Lilibet Diana.
The virtual ceremony for The Diana Award was held on July 1 and recognized more than 180 individuals from both the U.K. and around the world.
The Diana Award is the only charity that holds the name of Princess Diana. According to the organization, it "upholds Princess Diana's belief that young people have the power to change the world" and continues to be supported by her sons William and Harry.
While the Duke of Sussex has said the brothers are on "different paths," the two came together on Diana's birthday last year to unveil a statue in her memory. See how else they've continued to carry on her legacy over the years.
Originally published on Friday, July 1, 2022 at 5:36 a.m. PST