Prince William is continuing to honour his mother Princess Diana’s legacy.
The Duke of Cambridge showed his support for young people who have experienced horrific online bullying, by surprising them during a video call this week.
William chatted with teenage ambassadors, Rose Agnew, 14, from Warwick, Jude Bedford, 16, from Cambridge, Paige Keen, 14, from Norwich, and Isabel Broderick, 15, from the West Midlands, from The Diana Award, with the group sharing their experiences with the royal to mark Anti-Bullying week.
They weren’t told William would be joining the call beforehand, so clearly it was quite the shock.
It was great to surprise this inspiring group of young ambassadors from the @DianaAward – hearing their personal stories and how they've now turned their focus to supporting peers facing similar challenges. #AntiBullyingWeek https://t.co/x2UPzwoAyX
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) November 20, 2020
Rose told William of why she decided to become an ambassador: “I joined The Diana Award and applied because I know what it’s like to be bullied and that’s a feeling that I want to try and prevent as many people from having as possible.
“When people hate you for a factor that you can’t control and that you can’t change, it just makes you feel so powerless. Obviously, there is nothing I can do to change my skin colour. And knowing that there are people that from the minute I was born essentially hated me just for that reason, definitely when I was younger, I found that really hard to deal with.”
She added: “I think there should be anti-bullying ambassadors in every school because if I had had in Year 8 a girl who know what I had been through and could have offered me advice and could have made me feel that I wasn’t alone, if I could have had that peer-to-peer mentoring that now we can offer, my life would have been so so different.
“And you know my grades wouldn’t have been as impacted and I personally wouldn’t have been impacted.”
William shared in reference to online bullying: “It’s just horrible and it’s very moving to hear you guys talk about how you want to help others and make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“That is the most important thing, that you realize this isn’t going to beat you and you want to make sure that others are not going to go through the same torment that you guys have gone through,” he added. “But I’m just so sorry that you’ve experienced these circumstances and these bullies. It’s heartbreaking to hear how much of an impact it’s had on your schooling, your life, and things like that,” he added, according to Hello!
William added to the group, “Clearly, you guys have all taken this on and beaten it, which is fantastic. Because it can – and, sadly it does – get on top of too many people and some of them can’t come through it.”
The Diana Award is the “living legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better.”
It was established in 1999, two years after her tragic death.
Tessy Ojo, chief executive of The Diana Award, said: “Young people have faced monumental changes this year. We know from our research that mental health and wellbeing is the biggest concern with many feeling isolated from their friends.
“Paige, Rose, Jude and Isabel are passionate about tackling bullying and have continued to overcome barriers during lockdown to support their peers.
“We can’t be together in person for Anti-Bullying Week this year, but this surprise video meeting with the Duke of Cambridge has further motivated these young Anti-Bullying ambassadors to continue with their work standing up to all forms of bullying.”