Prince William and Prince Harry paid tribute to their mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 61st birthday on Friday.

William wrote a moving letter to the 2022 recipients of The Diana Award, which honours young people for their social action or humanitarian work.

The Duke of Cambridge shared, “Congratulations on receiving The Diana Award today! You are part of an inspirational generation of young people who are changing the world through your actions, and I hugely admire your efforts.”

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“Your stories are remarkable. Many of you face huge challenges in the face of difficult times, yet you are tirelessly breaking down barriers to create a better future for us all.

“Thank you for your compassion, bravery and absolute determination. You truly are the personification of my mother’s legacy and I know she would be so proud of you all.”

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He continued, “I believe there’s no better way to celebrate her life and work than through recognizing incredible people who dedicate so much time and effort to helping those around them.

“I hope that you stand proud in the knowledge that you are making a real difference and that you enjoy today’s ceremony — you deserve it!”

William’s comments come ahead of the 25th anniversary of his and Harry’s mother Diana’s tragic death on August 31, 1997.

Tessy Ojo CBE, CEO of The Diana Award, said in a statement, according to People: “It is especially poignant as we remember Princess Diana 25 years on.

“We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens.”

Harry also remembered his mother Diana in an emotional speech at Friday’s Diana Awards ceremony, saying, “Today, we’re reflecting on what would have been my mother’s 61st birthday. And this year is also 25 years since her passing. There isn’t a day during the past two and half decades where I haven’t thought about the mark she left not only on me and my brother, but on all of our lives.

“I see her legacy in all of you. I see her legacy in a Diana Award community that spans multiple generations. I see her legacy every time I meet with families, young people, and children from all corners of the world. And, I see my mum’s legacy when I look at my own children every single day.”

Harry, who shares 3-year-old son Archie Harrison and 1-year-old daughter Lilibet Diana with wife Meghan Markle, continued: “This is a special year, and one where I hope we take extra time to not just remember her as she lived, but to reflect on the life she continues to lead through so many, including the young changemakers with us today.

“My mother instilled in me, and in all of us, a drive to speak up and fight for a better world. And now, as a husband and a parent, my mother’s voice is even stronger in my life. All of you have helped keep her voice alive by showing the world how each small action counts, how kindness is still valued, and how our world can be better if we choose to make it so.

“To everybody who is part of this afternoon know that you are already making a difference, and we need you to keep making a difference. Don’t ever give up on the idea that each of you can create lasting and much-needed change. And with that, it’s my great pleasure to welcome you all and invite you to meet this year’s amazing young leaders receiving The Diana Award.”

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