Prince William paid tribute to his late mother, Princess Diana, in a touching speech while presenting Legacy Awards set up by the Diana Award charity to young philanthropists on Thursday, May 18.
“This summer marks 20 years since our [mother’s death]. She achieved so much in her life. From helping to shatter the stigma around AIDS, to fighting to ban landmines and supporting the homeless — she touched the lives of millions,” the 34-year-old royal said, according to People.
“The truth is, though, that she was taken at only 36, just slightly older than I am today. But of course, we can never know what our mother would have gone on to do,” William continued. “But in one sense Prince Harry and I feel that our mother lives on in the countless acts of compassion and bravery that she inspires in others.”
William’s 32-year-old brother, Harry, similarly gushed about Diana’s charitable legacy. “One of the things our mother taught William and I was the value of doing good when no one is watching,” he began.
“She visited hospitals late at night to comfort patients; she spent hours writing letters to privately support the work of others; she achieved a lot by shining a spotlight, but she worked just as hard when the cameras were gone,” Harry continued.
“Our mother once said that if we all play our part in making our children feel valued, the result will be tremendous. This result was tremendous,” he added.
This isn’t the first time that William has spoken out about his mother’s tragic August 1997 passing. During a recent visit to Keech Hospice in Luton, England, the Duke of Cambridge comforted 14-year-old Ben Hines, who sadly lost his mother to cancer one year ago.
“Time makes it easier,” William told the grieving boy, according to People. “I know how you feel. I still miss my mother every day — and it’s 20 years after she died.”
“The important thing is to talk about it as a family,” William added. “It’s OK to feel sad. It’s OK for you to miss her.”