Prince Harry Says Princess Diana 'Would Have Been Fighting' Against Institutional Racism
By Rachel McRady
Hannah McKay - WPA Pool / Gettyimages
Prince Harry is honoring his mother, Princess Diana, in a special way on her birthday. The 35-year-old Duke of Sussex appeared in an inspirational video message on The Diana Award's Instagram page, honoring the six recipients of this year's award, which was named on behalf of the Princess of Wales.
"I am so incredibly proud to be part of these awards as they honor the legacy of my mother and bring out the very best in people like you," Harry said in the clip on Wednesday, which would have been his late mother's 59th birthday.
"I know that my mother has been an inspiration to many of you and I can assure you, she would have been fighting in your corner," Harry said. "Like many of you, she never took the easy route, or the popular one, or the comfortable one. But she stood for something and she stood up for people who needed it. Right now we are seeing situations around the world where division, isolation and anger are dominating, as pain and trauma come to the surface, but I see the greatest hope in people like you."
"My wife said recently that our generation and the ones before us haven't done enough to right the wrongs of the past. I too am sorry, sorry that we haven't got the world to the place that you deserve it to be," Harry continued. "Institutional racism has no place in our societies yet it is still endemic. Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame to create a better world for all of you. I want you to know that we are committed to being a part of the solution and to being part of the change that you are all leading."
The son of Diana and Prince Charles, who stepped down as a senior member of the royal family in March, also acknowledged his older brother, Prince William, in his speech, saying, "You are six young people that my brother and I are proud to specifically recognize tonight. It is your voice that is far more important than mine."
He then "shared the mic" with 24-year-old Black Caribbean winner James Frater, who "is tackling racial inequality by creating initiatives to increase the representation of Black students at university," according to The Diana Award's page.
The Diana Award's account captioned the post with the Black Lives Matter hashtag, and noted that Harry was speaking "on behalf of him and his brother."
Back in May, William penned a letter to the charity on his and his brother's behalf, writing at the time, "My brother and I remain ever appreciative of the work you do to foster, develop and support young people, particularly at this time of uncertainty."
Though other members of the royal family have not spoken publicly regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, Harry and Meghan have been actively working to get involved amid their quarantine in Los Angeles.
"The Black Lives Matter movement matters to Meghan and it matters to Harry. And I understand that this is going to be an area where we're going to see the couple doing a lot more work and taking a lot more interest," royal expert Katie Nicholl recently told ET. "They've been very busy with the COVID efforts, particularly how it's impacting on their charities. And their focus is now, I'm told, shifting onto this movement -- Black Lives Matter is something that really resonates with both of them."
Other celebrities shared video messages with and surprised The Diana Award recipients including Liam Payne, Emma Thompson and Will Poulter.