Royals

All the ways William and Harry are keeping Diana’s legacy alive

It's been nearly 20 years since Princess Diana's untimely death but her sons are making sure her memory lives on.
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July 1st, 2017 marks what would have been Princess Diana’s 56th birthday and while she might not be here to celebrate, her two boys continue to honour her in so many inspiring ways.

From charity work to travel and of course, the beautiful tribute in Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge’s name – Prince William, 35, and his younger brother Prince Harry, 32, have gone to great lengths to preserve their mother’s memory.

Speaking of his immeasurable grief, William once mused: “Initially, there is a sense of profound shock and disbelief that this could ever happen to you. Real grief often does not hit home until much later. For many it is a grief never entirely lost.”

“Life is altered as you know it, and not a day goes past without you thinking about the one you have lost.”

But the sons of the late Princess of Wales use their mother’s memory to keep them going. In 2007, the aptly named Concert For Diana at London’s Wembley Stadium was a huge success. All the proceeds from the gig went to a variety of charities including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, Sentebale and Centrepoint.

“We always wanted to do something for her, and we wanted to mark it in a specifically special way. We didn’t want to have just a memorial service. We wanted to have a concert for her life and energy and all things that we thought she brought,” William said at the time.

And just this year, they held the very first Legacy Awards at a ceremony for the Diana Award youth charity, the only non-profit organisation established in the princess’ name.

Click through the gallery to find out all the ways the supportive royal brothers are keeping Diana’s memory alive!

In May this year, the royal brothers presented 20 young recipients with the very first Legacy Awards at a ceremony for the Diana Award youth charity, the only non-profit organisation established in the princess’ name.

The recipients, who were chosen for their “monumental impact” on society, came from the UK, United States, Canada, India, Belize and the United Arab Emirates.

“This summer marks 20 years since our mother died. She achieved so much in her life. From helping to shatter the stigma around AIDS, to fighting to ban landmines and supporting the homeless — she touched the lives of millions,” William said at the event.

Princess Diana and Prince Harry

In 2013, Prince Harry retraced Diana’s footsteps by visiting Angola in Southern Africa. Back in 1997, Lady Di famously visited the country and made international headlines by visiting the victims of land mines and walking courageously over a minefield.

In 2007, William and Harry celebrated their mother with the aptly named Concert For Diana.

The London gig, which was held at Wembley Stadium one month before the ten year anniversary of her death, was a roaring success and boasted a slew of musicians including Elton John, Duran Duran, Pharrell and Tom Jones.

Australia was where William took his first steps way back in 1983 during Charles and Di’s official tour of Down Under and NZ so it’s all the more special the next generation embarked on the same royal tour 31 years later.

One of Prince George’s seven godparents, Julia Samuel, was an extremely close friend of Princess Diana’s and will be able to teach her godson all about his late grandmother.

“Every day, I know I do and I’m sure William does as well, whatever we do, wherever we are and whoever we’re with I particularly always wonder what she’d think, what she’d be doing if she was with us now,” Harry told ITN in 2010. WATCH: A look into Diana’s life before she was royal. Gallery continues after the video!

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New look into Princess Diana’s life before royalty

“She’d be very proud of what Harry’s done and Sentebale bearing in mind that it’s actually his own charity that he started… Hopefully she’d be really chuffed,” proud big brother Wills added of Harry’s efforts in creating Sentebale along with Prince Seeiso. The charity “works with local grassroots organisations to help these children – the victims of extreme poverty and Lesotho’s HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

“Obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all – this was my way of keeping her close to it all,” William remarked after gifting his then-fiancee Catherine Middleton with the same incredible 12-carat deep blue sapphire engagement ring that Prince Charles presented Diana back in 1981.

The royal couple gave many nods to Diana during their spectacular 2011 nuptials. London’s Westminster Abbey is the same church where Diana’s funeral took place in 1997, the stirring hymn Guide Me Thou, O Great Redeemer was sung during the nuptials, which also closed Diana’s funeral service, while Kate picked white Lily of the Valley flowers for her bouquet – the same flowers Diana used in hers!

Following in his mother’s footsteps! In 2007 Prince William took on the honourable role as the president of the Royal Marsden Hospital Trust – the same organisation Diana was president for for eight years.

Just like his mother, Prince Harry has a magic touch with children. And during a tour of South America last year, the prince was almost moved to tears when he chatted to two young orphans, who had also suffered the tragedy of losing their beloved mum.

William and Catherine, pictured chatting to a patient in 2012, have truly embraced Diana’s charitable efforts.

The brothers created The Diana Awards in 1999, which tries to prevent bulling and social isolation. Last year, the organisation celebrated its 15th birthday and in a touching note penned together, the duo said: “We believe, when encouraged and supported, that young people have the ability to change society for the better. We know that our mother – in whose memory this award was established – felt the same and would be proud of its achievements to date.”

Following the birth of their darling daughter on May 2, the Duke and Duchess revealed the stunning full name of their second child to be: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge. The name holds significant meaning for the growing family, with middle name Diana paying tribute to The Princess of Wales.

Just like the Princess, the lads embody her down-to-earth deamour and always keep each other’s egos in check.

“We get on very well, we have a lot of banter. We both keep each other grounded. Both of us agree that you’ve got to be grounded and understand things from the bottom up,” Wills says.

“That’s what keeps us going every day – that thought of what would she be like if she was around today. It’s refreshing because we both have our own opinion of what she’d be like and ‘mad’ would be one word to describe her,” Harry adds.

Diana is never far from their mind: “[If she was alive] she’d be sitting here having a laugh, whether she’d be in the background sticking her tongue out or whether she’d be playing football with the children,” Harry once mused.

“We’d like to think she’s proud of us and I hope that’s the case,” William has stated in the past. And we have no hesitation in guessing that would most definitely be the case.

Both Harry, William and the Duchess of Cambridge spearheaded the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which aims to continue her inspirational humanitarian work around the world. In 2012 the fund closed after delegating 727 grants to 471 organisation however, the trio are now the legal owners of the fund and, according the the website can now “safeguard both the Fund’s name and ensure any future income donated to the Fund is used for charitable work.”

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