William and Harry both gave speeches congratulating the winners of the Diana Awards during a virtual ceremony shared online today – but appeared separately and did not acknowledge each other.
The Prince of Wales, 41, featured first during the 43-minute online event by praising the ‘courage, compassion and relentless dedication’ shown by the young people who had been honoured.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, who is at war with his brother over the fallout from Megxit, appeared twenty minutes later alongside a former award winner to speak about the importance of joining together with other campaigners because ‘no one is a conduit for change alone’.
It came as the awards organisers revealed Harry had paid a visit to an event in Los Angeles last month to surprise four of the winners with their certificates.
The Duke joined participants of Conversations for Change, which aims to bring young people together around a key social issue. He also used the trip to film his video address for the ceremony alongside Legacy Award recipient Vee Kativhu.
The Prince of Wales, 41, appeared first during the 43-minute streamed event by praising the ‘courage, compassion and relentless dedication’ shown by the young people who had been honoured
The Duke of Sussex, 38, featured twenty minutes later alongside a former award winner to speak about the importance of joining together with other campaigners because ‘no one is a conduit for change alone’
The Diana Award is a charity set up to reflect the Princess of Wales’ belief that young people have the power to change the world, with the 2023 ceremony coming on what would have been the princess’s 62nd birthday.
The charity runs anti-bullying and mentoring programmes and recognises young people’s inspirational work.
The brothers’ decision not to acknowledge each other this year was a contrast to the same ceremony in 2021, where Harry spoke how ‘William and I are recognising mum’s 60th birthday’.
He continued: ‘Later this week, my brother and I are recognising what would have been our mum’s 60th birthday, and she would be so proud of you all for living an authentic life with purpose and with compassion for others.
‘Our mum believed that young people have the power to change the world. She believed in your strength because she saw it day in and day out and in the faces of young people exactly like you, she witnessed a boundless enthusiasm and passion.
‘And to see those same values shine through as it has done for 21 years now, The Diana Award carries her legacy forward by putting young people at the centre of our future. And this has never been more important.’
In previous years they appeared together in person to pose with the winners.
In 2021, the brothers unveiled a statue of Diana in Kensington Palace Gardens – chatting together briefly as they did so.
During his 2023 address, Harry spoke of how his mother’s legacy continues to serve as an example of how to ‘navigate the complexities’ of today’s world.
He said: ‘Each one of us has the ability to help create a more equitable world. And the brilliant award recipients we’re honouring today are proof of that. They exemplify the notion that when we use our voices, change really can happen.’
Reflecting on his mother’s legacy, the duke continued: ‘As we come together, I am reminded of the profound belief that my mother held in the transformative power of young people.
‘She recognised their unique ability to challenge the status quo and push for a more inclusive and compassionate society.
‘Her legacy continues to inspire and serve as an example of how to navigate the complexities of our world today.
‘And so many of the numerous challenges that we face disproportionately affect young people and of course their futures.
Harry filmed his video address for the ceremony alongside Legacy Award recipient Vee Kativhu
‘And whether it’s climate change, mental wellbeing, 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 diversity of voices and perspectives that encompass it.’
Meanwhile, William spoke of how the award winners are united by ‘their courage, compassion, and a relentless dedication to improving the lives of others’.
He also said it is important not to forget the challenges they have overcome.
William said: ‘The road to making a difference is not always easy, but as we celebrate the impact they have made, we are reminded that no challenge is insurmountable.
‘Today, we recognise the power of all young people to inspire meaningful change. To all the award recipients – congratulations.
‘Your accomplishments are a testament to your character, your passion and your determination to make a difference. You are an inspiration to young people everywhere.
‘And to everyone watching, these stories remind us why organisations 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.’
William and Harry are said to no longer be on speaking terms since the younger brother’s bombshell memoir, Spare, was released earlier this year.
One of the most explosive claims Harry made in his biography Spare was that a ‘piping hot’ Prince William ‘knocked him onto a dog bowl which cut his back’ during an argument at Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
The Duke of Sussex claimed the altercation took place in early 2019 while the brothers were arguing about their relationship, Harry’s rows with the press and Meghan Markle.
In 2021, the brothers unveiled a statue of Diana in Kensington Palace Gardens – chatting together briefly as they did so
What’s more, the Princess of Wales didn’t come out unscathed from Prince Harry’s memoirs either.
As well as detailing a series of awkward moments at the Royal Foundation forum in 2018, Prince Harry also shared tense text messages exchanged between Kate and Meghan about Princess Charlotte’s flowergirl dress.
Sharing his side of the story at the heart of ‘Megxit’, Prince Harry says his sister-in-law got in touch with Meghan after Princess Charlotte ‘cried when she tried it on at home’.
Harry insisted the incident was driven by his sister-in-law Kate, who appeared irritated that it had taken Meghan a day to get back to her about the problem.
The disagreement between the two women was, he claims, further exacerbated by Kate’s unwillingness to visit Meghan’s tailor at Kensington Palace and suggestions that they hold a party for the page boys when his bride-to-be was busy dealing with a row with her father, Thomas Markle.
In February 2021, The Queen confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would not be returning to the UK as senior working royals after their year-long trial of ‘Megxit’.