Prince William's sweet message on Princess Diana's birthday: 'She would be so proud'

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·Fashion and Shopping Writer, Yahoo Life UK
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Prince William honoured the Diana Award recipients on what would have been his mother's 61st birthday. (Getty Images)
Prince William honoured the Diana Award recipients on what would have been his mother's 61st birthday. (Getty Images)

Prince William has released a personal message on what would have been his mother Princess Diana's 61st birthday.

The Duke of Cambridge, 40, praised an "inspirational generation" of young people who personified his late “mother’s legacy” as he paid tribute to the latest winners of the Diana Award.

In the personal letter, William reflected on his late mother’s legacy, adding that there was "no better way" to celebrate his mother's life than by recognising those who give so much time to others.

The moving letter was released ahead of this year’s Diana Award ceremony which takes place virtually on Friday, which would have been the late Princess’ 61st birthday. August 2022 will mark the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing following a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

(FILES) Princess Diana (L), Prince Harry, (C) and Prince William (R) gather for the commemorations of VJ Day, 19 August 1995, in London. Prince William turned 25 Thursday 21 June 2007, and in doing so became entitled to part of the multi-million pound (euro, dollar) inheritance left to him by his late mother, princess Diana. The second in line to the throne is now allowed access to the income accrued on the 6.5 million pounds he was left in his mother's will after she died 10 years ago in a car crash in Paris. AFP PHOTO/JOHNNY EGGITT/FILES (Photo credit should read JOHNNY EGGITT/AFP via Getty Images)
Princess Diana with Harry and William gather for the commemorations of VJ Day in August 1995. (Getty Images)

Written on official Kensington Palace stationery carrying his "W" royal monogram, the royal called the winners “an inspiration” and said that his late mother “would be so proud” of their work in the letter to the recipients.

Read more: Prince William praises Diana's 'inimitable style' as he appears on cover of The Big Issue

“Congratulations on receiving The Diana Award today!” wrote William. “You are part of an inspirational generation of young people who are changing the world through your actions, and I hugely admire your efforts.”

“Your stories are remarkable,” he continued. “Many of you face huge challenges in the face of difficult times, yet you are tirelessly breaking down barriers to create a better future for us all.

"You truly are the personification of my mother's legacy and I know she would be so proud of you all.

“I believe there's no better way to celebrate her life and work than through recognising incredible people who dedicate so much time and effort to helping those around them,” he added.

Read more: What Princess Diana wore to introduce Prince William to the world 40 years ago

Prince William and Prince Harry the the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on what would have been her 60th birthday in 2021. (Reuters)
Prince William and Prince Harry the the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on what would have been her 60th birthday in 2021. (Reuters)

Named after the late princess, the Diana Award honours young people aged 9-25 for their humanitarian work, and social action to improve the lives of others.

The prestigious award is the only charity bearing Princess Diana’s name, and is supported by both Prince William and his brother Prince Harry.

Read more: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge dazzle in first official joint portrait together

Established in 2017, the charity honours “exceptional young people” who are “changing their communities,” whether through “campaigning, volunteering, fundraising, fighting injustice or overcoming extreme life challenges”.

This year’s awards will go to 180 change makers and young philanthropists from 29 countries.

Watch: Who is Princess Diana?

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