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William praises his mother Diana at awards event - as Harry appears once brother has left

The brothers’ separate appearances have stirred further speculation of growing family tensions

Lydia Patrick,Jane Dalton
Friday 15 March 2024 07:58 GMT
William praises his mother Diana at awards event

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to his mother at the Diana Legacy Award, while narrowly avoiding his younger brother.

William attended the event at the Science Museum in London on Thursday night in person, where he gave a speech to mark the charity’s 25th anniversary.

He said his mother taught him that “everyone has the potential to give something back”,

The Duke of Sussex addressed those in the audience after William left via a live video, fuelling further speculation of a rift between the two

He spoke for about half an hour after the ceremony concluded, as he said: “Thank you very much for inspiring so many others and at the same time protecting my mother’s legacy, I really appreciate that.

“And Tessy (Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award), again, well done on this fantastic group of individuals.”

The pair have continued to distance themselves from each other in recent months and did not meet when Harry spent time with King Charles at Clarence House following news of his cancer diagnosis last month.

Prince of Wales speaks to Tom Walker, Ken Spellman and Dr Tessy Oho CBE (Getty Images)

Prince William told the audience that he and his wife, the Princess of Wales, had sought to focus on Diana’s legacy through their work.

“This evening’s Legacy Award is particularly special as it marks the 25th anniversary year of The Diana Award, a charity set up to reflect my mother’s belief that young people can change the world,” he said.

“I know that she would have been honoured to see a charity in her name doing such inspirational work to uplift young people from all corners of the globe.”

He said that his mother taught him that that “everyone in need deserves a supporting hand in life”.

“She taught me that everyone has the potential to give something back; that everyone in need deserves a supporting hand in life,” he said.

The Prince of Wales handed out prizes marking 25 years of the Diana Legacy Award (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William attended the event at the Science Museum in London on Thursday night (via REUTERS)

“That legacy is something that both Catherine and I have sought to focus on through our work, as have the 50,000 young people who have received a Diana Award over the past 25 years.

“I am so proud to see this belief of my mother’s manifested in the amazing young people receiving the Legacy Award tonight.”

In an interview last month, Harry said “I love my family” and that he was “grateful” to be able to spend around 45 minutes with Charles when he flew back to the UK.

In Harry’s memoir Spare last year, he accused William of pushing him into a dog bowl in a row over the Duchess of Sussex.

It was also claimed William teased Harry about his panic attacks.

William and Harry have presented the awards together in previous years (PA Archive)

Further tensions between the royal brothers can be traced back to the early period of Harry’s relationship with Meghan, when his then-fiancee is reported to have had a falling out with the Princess of Wales in the run-up to their wedding.

Shortly before William spoke to the crowds at the Diana Award ceremony, the Duchess of Sussex returned to Instagram to launch a new business venture.

The social media teaser, posted to the new American Riviera Orchard Instagram account on Thursday, featured a vintage-style video of Meghan cooking and arranging white hydrangeas and roses.

The Diana Award was set up to promote the princess’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. Both William and Harry presented the inaugural legacy awards at St James’ Palace in 2017.

Dr Tessy Ojo, chief executive of The Diana Award, told The Times: “It’s a privilege to have the support of both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex — particularly as we mark our 25th anniversary year.”

A spokesman for the award told The Telegraph that Harry would be a “key part” of the celebration.

“He is scheduled to speak with the award recipients, virtually, on the evening of the awards to celebrate their accomplishments,” he said.

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