Prince Harry Makes Surprise Appearance During Diana Awards Ceremony

Prince Harry made a surprise appearance during the 2021 Diana Awards.

The Duke of Sussex recorded a video that played during the virtual ceremony on Monday, giving thanks to the recipients of this year’s “The Diana Award” for their social action and humanitarian work around the world. The award is in honor of his and Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, who tragically died in 1997.

“I’d like to start by acknowledging and celebrating the incredible young people joining us today. Wherever you are right now I want to thank you for being part of this important moment, and for being such an invaluable asset to your community,” Harry’s speech began. “I’m truly honored to be celebrating your work, your commitment to change making, and the vital role you have taken in celebrating a new generation of humanitarianism. Later this week, my brother and I are recognizing what would have been our mum’s 60th birthday, and she would be so proud of you all for living authentic life with purpose and 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,” he added. “I, too, 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 center of our future and this has never been more important.”

Harry continued on, telling the award winners that he and his wife, Meghan Markle, believe that our world is “at the cusp of change” right now, “real change for the good of all.”

“The question before us is what that change will look like. The COVID-19 crisis exposed severe inequities and imbalances around the world. We saw the disproportionate effect of this disease on communities of color, on women, on underserved communities and in less wealthy countries,” he explained. “Unless we take swift action, we will continue to see a disparity in our humanitarian and moral obligation to vaccinate the world.”

“There is great need for young leadership and there is no greater time to be a young leader. I believe in you,” he exclaimed. “We believe in you. And that belief in your own ability to change the world in doing the right thing is what makes you a force to be reckoned with. So, all 2021 Diana Award recipients, thank you for inspiring us with your brilliance, your determination, and your compassion. Your actions hold the potential to lead a life-changing impact.”

Hear Harry’s full speech, which begins around the 43:19 mark, below:

A source told ET last week that Harry had arrived back in the U.K. for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of Princess Diana in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.

Harry and his brother are set to attend a small event to mark the unveiling of the statue on July 1. Kensington Palace noted that in addition to the Princess of Wales’ close family, members of the statue committee, the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, and garden designer Pip Morrison, will also be present at the event.

An additional source previously told ET that Meghan will not be in attendance, as she just welcomed her and Prince Harry’s second child, daughter, Lilibet Diana, earlier this month.

“Meghan has just had a baby and has no plans to travel to London for the memorial event planned for the statue unveiling in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace,” the source shared.

Watch the video below for more.

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