It’s been 20 years since Princess Diana was killed in a car crash, but her memory still lives on in her boys.
Kensington Palace released a candid snap of the late princess with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry on Wednesday, following a moving speech from William about the impact his parents had on his desire to give back through charity work.
William was speaking at the Charity Commission annual public meeting during the week when he let down his guard and recalled the times his parents made him and Harry see what it meant to live outside the palace walls.
“Some of my earliest memories relate to times that my parents spoke to me or – even better – showed me what it meant to have both privilege and responsibilities,” he said.
“I remember being taken by my mother to a homelessness shelter at a young age, her explaining to me why the people I met there matter, why no society can be healthy unless we take other people seriously.
“From my father, I learned how central charity was to his life his sense of purpose. The Prince’s Trust is not an arms-length organisation for my father. He cares deeply about The Prince’s Trust because it is a living projection of his values.”
William and Harry have both spent much of their time working with charities work since leaving their jobs in the army. William has devoted his efforts towards combatting cyber bullying and homelessness, while Harry has focussed on veterans affairs and HIV and AIDS prevention.
Both men, along with the Duchess of Cambridge, have also worked hard to bring mental health to the forefront, often opening up about their own difficulties after the death of their mother.
In his speech, William said he had been thinking more about his childhood and the values his parents instilled in him since becoming a dad himself.
“I have two children as you probably know — I gather it has been widely reported,” he joked. “And when I first became a father about four and half years ago, I began a process of thinking about the way I had been brought up, and the values that my parents had instilled in me.
“As any parent will know, this process is not necessarily one that you undertake consciously – you find that certain values and habits, ones that you didn’t know you had, start bubbling up to the surface.”
He also paid special mention to his grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip.
“My grandfather Prince Philip has been one of the most tireless public servants of this country, deeply committed to helping young people fulfil their potential,”
“My grandmother The Queen has never given a Christmas broadcast without paying tribute to charitable organisations, volunteers and people who care for others. My family have not done this because it looks good – they do it because charity is not an optional extra in society. We believe that, above anything else, charities nurture, repair, build and sustain our society. Without the work that charities do, society would be an empty shell.”
He finished: “I hope, for my part, that I can continue to be of service to you all, too, in the years to come.”