The brothers appeared in their own respective videos on Friday, June 30, for the 2023 ceremony, which paid tribute to outstanding youth working to make the world a better place. William, 41, opened the event with a speech while Harry, 38, introduced a group from this year’s winners.
The Prince of Wales, for his part, was introduced by former Diana Legacy Award winner Hannah Hodgson and praised her — and all the winners — for the “challenges they have overcome” to reach their goals.
“What unites them is their courage, compassion and a relentless dedication to improving the lives of others. … Today, we recognize the power of all young people to inspire meaningful change,” he said in his video, which aired via YouTube. “To everyone watching, these stories remind us why organizations like The Diana Award are so important. It is a reminder that when we invest in young people, when we provide them with the tools and opportunities to make a difference, they can truly change the world. A belief shared by my mother, and one I am proud to continue in her name.”
Harry, meanwhile, made an appearance later in the program in a separate pre-recorded segment alongside 2021 Diana Legacy Award recipient Vee Kativhu.
“When someone steps up to be of service, they automatically join this collective. No one is ever a conduit for change alone. Each one of us has the ability to help create a more equitable world,” Harry shared. “The brilliant award recipients we’re honoring today are proof of that. They exemplify the notion that when we use our voices, change really can happen.”
The BetterUp CIO spoke of his late mother, who died at age 36 in a 1996 car crash. “As we come together, I am reminded of the profound belief my mother held in the transformative power of young people,” he said. “She recognized their unique ability to challenge the status quo and push for a more inclusive and compassionate society.”
He continued: “Her legacy continues to inspire and serve as an example of how to navigate the complexities of our world today. So many of the numerous challenges that we face disproportionately affect young people and, of course, their futures. Whether it’s climate change, mental well-being, or systemic injustices, the obstacles can sometimes seem overwhelming. But, what gives me hope is the collective power we possess when we work together. The strength in the diversity of voices and perspectives that encompass it.”
While William and Harry previously united for their father King Charles III’s coronation in May, they attended the historic event, which took place at Westminster Abbey, separately. William was joined by wife Princess Kate in the first row, while Harry was seated with his cousins in the third. The duo did not appear to interact at the ceremony before Harry left the festivities earlier to fly back to California for his son’s 4th birthday. (The Duke of Sussex shares son Prince Archie, 4, and daughter Princess Lillibet, 2, with wife Meghan Markle.)
The twosome have been estranged since Harry and Meghan stepped down from their senior royal duties in 2020. In Harry’s January memoir, Spare, he detailed tense moments with his family over the years including a physical fight he had with William after the prince allegedly called Meghan, 41, “difficult” and “rude.”
That same month, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that William “doesn’t even recognize” his brother anymore. “William is absolutely horrified by all of this,” the insider revealed. “He wants to believe that there’s still hope for peace down the line, but it’s hard.”
William found the “explosive” chapters “rude and insulting” toward him, Kate and Charles, according to the source. “At this point, he’s got no plans to speak to Harry. He’s come to terms with the fact [that] he’s lost his little brother and quite possibly for life,” the insider told Us.
Harry, for his part, revealed during the December 2022 Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan, that the tension with William has been the most upsetting part of the whole situation. “I mean, the saddest part of it was this wedge created between myself and my brother, so that he’s now on the institution’s side,” he explained. “Part of that, I get. I understand, right? That’s his inheritance. So, to some extent it’s already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survivability and the continuation of this institution.”
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