How we can continue Princess Diana's legacy: 25 years on

·2-min read
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

Today marks 25 years since the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. It was a defining moment. Like many others, I can distinctly remember where I was when I heard the news. I vividly recall that overwhelming sense of loss, which led me from my East London flat to Kensington Palace, to lay flowers.

The reaction to her death was like nothing we’d ever seen before; she was mourned by millions who had never met her, but who saw their own lives reflected in her. Her ability to connect with people though kindness and compassion is one of her most significant legacies. She left a mark on all our lives.

The Diana Award was set up two years later and remains the only charity in memory of the late princess, celebrating the work of young changemakers – who continue her legacy of service and selflessness and who, like her, use what power they have to change the world for the better.

I am incredibly honoured to lead this charity as we continue her legacy, shining a spotlight on the issues that affect young people – who are often not the face of these societal issues, but bear the brunt of the impact. This spans everything from mental health issues to the social and economic barriers which disproportionately leave thousands of young people behind, to the enduring impact of the cost of living crisis. Last month, both William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Harry, the Duke of Sussex, paid tribute to multiple generations of such young people, who they see as the personification of their mother’s legacy.

Photo credit: Mirrorpix - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mirrorpix - Getty Images

Diana believed that young people have the power to change the world. Continuing her legacy means supporting children and teenagers and helping to change their lives by tackling the big issues of our time. Like the people's princess, they are not afraid to speak out and be at the forefront of change. I can only imagine how immensely proud she would be of the tens of thousands of young people from across the world who are continuing her life's work, and acting with similar kindness and compassion.

Here are five things you can do to help extend that legacy:

1/ Serve someone or a cause without seeking reward.

2/ Be inclusive. Look out for that person on the ‘outside’. Diana often used her privilege to shine a spotlight on excluded communities.

3/ Show kindness like Diana did, in school or work – but especially as we head back to school.

4/ Give generously: you have a currency that someone else needs. Diana believed that everyone has value and everyone has the potential to give back.

5/ Invest in young people. Help The Diana Award continue its vital work by becoming a supporter of the charity. Your generosity will help us extend her legacy.

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

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