Prince Harry: ‘Being a role model & mentor can help heal the wounds of your own past’

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Princess Diana would have been 58 years old this week. Both of Diana’s sons marked her birthday in quiet ways – William surprised well-wishers outside of Kensington Palace, thanking them for marking his mother’s birthday every year and keeping her memory alive. On Tuesday, Harry went to the Diana Award Mentoring Appeal event in London. He’s not a patron to the event, but the Diana Award charity have been around for 20 years, and Harry has done events with them in the past. Harry met with young people who are part of the mentoring program and with some of the businesses who are part of the program. He also made a speech:

“I’m struck by a few things today, most of which is the power of the invisible role model,” he said. “The person who may be sitting here today that doesn’t realize that someone looks up to them, that — for that person — you inspire them to be kinder, better, greater, more successful, more impactful. Perhaps it’s the newfound clarity I have as a father, knowing that my son will always be watching what I do, mimicking my behavior, one day maybe even following in my footsteps. But it’s not just my role as a father that shows me that; it’s in the people I see every day that don’t realize how inspirational they are to those watching.”

Harry added that his mother, who died in a 1997 car crash in Paris, inspired people around the world.: “My mother, Princess Diana, was a role model to so many, without realizing the impact she would have on so many lives. You don’t have to be a princess or a public figure to be a role model, in fact it’s equally valuable if you’re not because it’s more relatable,” he said. “Being a role model and mentor can help heal the wounds of your own past and create a better future for someone else.”

Prince Harry concluded his speech, “To the mentees here today, I am incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved, and I can safely say that my mother, who would have turned 58 yesterday, would feel the same.”

[From People]

This just made me sad – I know there are a lot of people who are like “Diana wasn’t perfect!” and yes, that’s true. But she didn’t deserve to die at the age of 36 just because she wasn’t perfect. Her impact was incredible – she fundamentally changed the royal family across the board. She changed the nature of celebrity, and she changed so many conversations, from HIV/AIDS to gay rights to landmines to mental health and on and on. Diana would have loved this charity, and I’m glad Harry is involved with it.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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35 Responses to “Prince Harry: ‘Being a role model & mentor can help heal the wounds of your own past’”

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  1. Kittycat says:

    I am 36 now and I have done so much.

    I just find it sad Diana never had a chance to live as an adult.

    She got married too young and had kids immediately.

    • minx says:

      And whatever her faults, she was extremely young and in love with Charles and he didn’t love her. It was a disaster.

      • himmiefan says:

        And she was used by her parents who should have put a stop to the whole thing, but as a girl, her only usefulness to them was with an advantageous marriage.

      • minx says:

        Charles’ parents as well.. they knew he loved Camilla and they didn’t care. Just had to get a virgin bride.

      • Wigletwatcher says:

        It was said Charles and Diana were in love around the time of Harry’s conception and birth. And photos during then. You can see it.

  2. Seraphina says:

    Kudos to Harry. What a lovely speech. I love the part that a role model is best relatable. How true. But sadly our young people today idolize public figures/celebrities which makes it even more important that these people understand that.

    And I grew up really star struck with Princess Dianna. Watched her wedding when I was 8. She WAS Cinderella for me not the Disney Princess in a book, but Diana flesh and bloods. And while she was not a saint, she also did a lot of good. And we shouldn’t forget that. I think she’d be so proud of Harry and what he said.

  3. Loretta says:

    Princess Diana has a special place in my heart. She was special, one of a kind.

  4. Toot says:

    Perfect way to give back and honor his mother by Harry during his mother’s birth week. Harry’s speech was great also.

  5. Melissa says:

    I know of so many people who have overcome personal tragedies and past mistakes simply by helping and mentoring others.

  6. Becks1 says:

    Nice speech from Harry. I liked how he talked about his mother but also pointed out that anyone can make a difference.

    Diana’s legacy is complicated and I think because she was remembered as SUCH a saint for years after her death, its swinging back the other way with more negative things about her being remembered, but its nice sometimes to just remember the positive things.

    • Himmiefan says:

      Oh yes, she definitely had her demons and was used at a young age by several others, but when it came to the public role of being a princess, she was fantastic.

  7. Megan says:

    Nice speech from Harry. And William going out to meet the people holding the vigil was really sweet. He really made their day.

    • Citresse says:

      Yes, it was kind of William to greet them. I bet he planned it for a while, and no doubt he appreciates the public keeping the memory of Diana alive. I think it must be a bittersweet experience knowing the men in gray at BP and his own grandparents have largely airbrushed Diana from history.

  8. Sassy says:

    It’s crazy how loved Diana use to be now people hate her because she got in the way of Britain’s greatest love story. As long as her sons remember her as a good person that’s all that matters.

  9. truthSF says:

    I noticed Harry was referring to his mom as “Princess Diana”, and it got me thinking…Was Diana still considered a ‘princess’ after her divorce, or was that title taken away per royal protocol?

    • Boxy Lady says:

      IIRC she was allowed to keep the “Princess” but had to lose the “HRH.”

    • Becks1 says:

      I noticed that too, bc it was incorrect, but I imagine Harry knows everyone calls her “Princess Diana/Di” so just used that.

      She was never technically Princess Diana. She was HRH The Princess of Wales. After the divorce, I think she just became “princess of wales,” losing the HRH and “the.” There may be a comma somewhere I’m missing too.

    • Himmiefan says:

      I guess he was using the informal term that most of the public knows her by.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      That is how the public know and remember her but as Becks says its incorrect. She was never a Princess, she did however still have the title ‘Princess of Wales’ which is why the press called her Princess Diana.

      • truthSF says:

        Thank you all for the replies!❤

      • notasugarhere says:

        She wasn’t a princess in her own right, but technically had Princess Charles as one of her titles. Like Sophie is Princess Edward, Sarah was Princess Andrew, etc.

  10. Tiffany says:

    I still remember the photos of Diana holding the child who was HIV positive and holding hands with the patient who had AIDS. And the doctor explaining that holding hands or being in the same room with people who have the disease is not contagious.

    Both subtle and powerful for it’s time.

    And yes, there are still people to this day who say you can get it from a toilet seat.

    • Cee says:

      That has to be one of her greatest accomplishments. I know she was complicated, but so is everyone. She tried to do her best with what she had (an appalling education, terrible family life, loveless marriage, etc) and channel that into charity work.

      • Tiffany says:

        I remember being in tears when I saw them because not only was is such a warm and welcoming thing to do, she was wearing no gloves. A HUGE deal was made about that as well. I think that was the start of the ‘People’s Princess’ movement. Everything about that moment was historic as it should have been.

    • Some chick says:

      It was a huge deal. I remember it well. Oh, the pearl-clutching and hand-wringing! It made a real difference. I have always admired her for that.

      Even the land mine work was considered “controversial” and “political” at the time. She was groundbreaking. I can imagine that part of why Harry loves Meg so much is her dedication to making the world a better place.

      Harry seems like such a mensch. He’s really grown into his role.

      I was an adult when I lost my mom, back in the ’90s. I was wrecked for a long time, and I still cry about it sometimes. I cannot even imagine what he and William went through, so young. Privilege doesn’t shield the heart.

    • Nic919 says:

      Diana was admired because she did things from her heart and didn’t worry about whether or not she was “putting a foot right” especially when it came to charities. Others could learn from her example in that regard.

  11. Fluffy Princess says:

    Aww, this must be such a bittersweet time of year for both William and Harry. Both of their tributes are lovely!

    • Tiffany says:

      I went over the see the photos of William outside with the folks who came out and I gotta say, it even warm my cold heart, he looks genuinely genuine with those people. We know he is not a good actor by any means and that was quite nice and it seems everyone enjoyed the conversation.

      • Becks1 says:

        @tiffany he surprises me sometimes. he comes across as such a cold asshole so much of the time, and then sometimes I feel like he lets his guard down and I’m like, huh. you seem….nicer. more genuine like I said.