Watch: Prince William surprises teen anti-bullying ambassadors
Prince William surprised young ambassadors who work with the organisation set up in his mother’s name as they marked anti-bulling week with a video call.
Young people who work with The Diana Award were not expecting to see the Duke of Cambridge when they signed on for a call with the charity.
As they realised who else is there, the teenagers reacted with delight, with Rose Agnew saying “No way, no way”.
William laughed as he replied: “Well at least one of you recognised me. The other three are not quite sure…”
Rose, 14, from Warwick, was also joined by Jude Bedford, 16, from Cambridge, Paige Keen, 14, from Norwich, and Isabel Broderick, 15, from the West Midlands
They told the duke, 38, about their own experiences with online abuse and how they used that to help others.
William said: “It’s just horrible and it’s very moving to hear you guys talk about how you want to help others and make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“That is the most important thing, that you realise this isn’t going to beat you and you want to make sure that others are not going to go through the same torment that you guys have gone through.
“But I’m just so sorry that you’ve experienced these circumstances and these bullies. It’s heartbreaking to hear how much of an impact it’s had on your schooling, your life, and things like that.
“Clearly you guys have all taken this on and beaten it, which is fantastic. Because it can – and, sadly it does – get on top of too many people and some of them can’t come through it.”
The Diana Award was set up in the name of the late Princess of Wales, in her belief that young people have the power to change the world. It’s trained 35,000 young people to work as anti-bullying ambassadors in schools and communities.
Rose told William she’d had racist abuse and explained why she was motivated to join The Diana Award.
She said: “I joined the Diana Award and applied because I know what it’s like to be bullied and that’s a feeling that I want to try and prevent as many people from having as possible.
“When people hate you for a factor that you can’t control and that you can’t change, it just makes you feel so powerless.”
Watch: Prince Harry says he’s sorry in speech for The Diana Award
Isabel told the duke she was targeted by an anonymous online account which threatened to release fabricated personal and sensitive information about her when she was in Year 8.
It took her two years to work up the courage to tell her mother.
William said: “That’s a lot for you to live with, that stress, that anxiety, that pressure. That’s horrible for you to have to live with that for so long.”
Paige found herself a victim of bullying when a group of boys edited her photos and called her “fat” and “ugly”.
The group also spoke about whether bullying had been worse during the lockdown.
Rose said: “What was being said generally when people were being bullied was a lot worse, as it had moved online, since our whole life had moved online and bullying went with it.”