The Duke of Sussex told young people they could “create positive change” as he hailed the recipients of the Diana Award, set up in honour of his late mother. The Diana Award was established to promote her belief that young people have the ability to change the world for the better.
He said: “We know that our young people face unique challenges to their mental health and wellbeing, increasing social and economic barriers, and a world consumed by disagreement, conflict and anger.
“But we need to listen to you and we need to empower you, because you are our only way out of the mess.”
The Duke launched the virtual award by telling young people they were “changemakers” who could keep the Princess of Wales’ voice “alive”.
Prince William, who also attended the event, lavished praise on the 180 youngsters from around the world.
The Duke of Cambridge said they were the “personification of my mother‘s legacy”.
The ceremony was held on what would have been her 61st birthday on July 1
There are three key initiatives, including a mentoring programme for young people at risk, anti-bullying ambassadors campaign and the Diana Award itself.
The award recognises the social action or humanitarian work of young people under the age of 25 around the world.
The Duke of Sussex added that he saw his mother’s “legacy” in the award’s participants as well as his own family.
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“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 kept 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.”
In a written tribute the Duke of Cambridge said that the participants had overcome “challenges” and their stories were “remarkable”.
He said: “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.
“Thank you for your compassion, bravery and absolute determination.
“You truly are the personification of my mother‘s legacy and I know she would be so proud of you all.”