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Princes William and Harry praise Diana’s legacy at London event

Prince William praised his mother, Diana, the late Princess of Wales, at an event in London on Thursday, saying she taught him that everyone “has the potential to give something back.”

The event, marking the 25th anniversary of The Diana Award, also saw Prince Harry, William’s brother, speak with winners via video call, making it one of the few occasions both princes have taken part in since the Duke of Sussex quit royal duties.

In his speech, William told the audience that he and his wif e, Catherine, Princess of Wales, have sought to focus on Diana’s legacy through their own work.

“I know that she would have been honored to see a charity in her name doing such inspirational work to uplift young people from all corners of the globe,” the Prince of Wales said, according to Kensington Palace.

“She taught me that everyone has the potential to give something back, that everyone in need deserves a supporting hand in life,” he said, adding, “I am so proud to see this belief of my mother’s manifested in the amazing young people receiving the Legacy Award tonight.”

During the event, the heir to the British throne also met staff and supporters of the award as well as presenting the Legacy Award to this year’s winners.

Harry separately spoke with the 20 Legacy Award recipients via a livestream following the ceremony at London’s Science Museum.

“Thank you, very much, for inspiring so many others and at the same time protecting my mother’s legacy, I really appreciate that,” the duke said during the 30-minute video call.

In addition to the honor, award winners are supported with personal and professional development to amplify their social work and allow them to keep inspiring other young people to do the same.

Prince Harry met with winners via a livestream for around half an hour after the ceremony concluded. - The Diana Award
Prince Harry met with winners via a livestream for around half an hour after the ceremony concluded. - The Diana Award

William’s appearance meanwhile comes amid frenzied speculation about the status and wellbeing of his wife, which intensified after Kensington Palace released a family photo featuring her that was later revealed to have been digitally altered.

Kate has not been seen in public for months following an abdominal operation at a London hospital that the palace said was planned, but which necessitated her diary to be cleared of upcoming events due to a lengthy recovery period.

The palace might have hoped that Sunday’s photo, released to mark Mother’s Day, would quell the increasingly widespread confusion and concern about the princess. But it instead caused a firestorm of controversy after international photo agencies withdrew it, expressing concern it had been digitally manipulated.

Kate took responsibility, apologizing for what she said was an “experiment” with photo editing. But her brief statement did not explain why and how she had edited the image, and no new pictures of the princess have been issued since.

The Diana Legacy Awards are held every other year, and recognize young leaders in the name of William and Harry’s late mother, Diana.

It was established two years after Diana’s death in a 1997 car crash in Paris. William said in his address on Thursday night that 50,000 people had received the Diana Award over the past 25 years.

The brothers made separate contributions to Thursday night’s ceremony. The Duke of Sussex’s appeared virtually; he lives in the United States, following his split from the working royals in 2020 alongside his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Since then, the brothers’ relationship has become increasingly frosty. Harry wrote in his memoir “Spare” that William attacked him during an argument, and called his elder brother “difficult,” “rude” and “abrasive.”

They have appeared together at royal events marking the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the coronation of King Charles III, and on occasion at events related to Diana’s legacy, but have otherwise rarely crossed paths in public.

CNN’s Max Foster and Simon Cullen contributed reporting

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