Princess Harry has opened up about the emotional rollercoaster of becoming a father to Archie Harrison weeks before what would have been Princess Diana’s 58th birthday.
Speaking at the Diana Award National Youth Mentoring Summit on July 2, his late mum’s birthday just the day before, he told the crowd:
“I’m struck by a few things today, most of which is the power of the invisible role model.
“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,” he explained.
Reflecting on how he’s changed since wife Meghan Markle gave birth to the couple’s first child Archie Harrison on May 6, Harry said:
“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,” the Duke of Sussex continued.
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Today, The Duke of Sussex attended UK’s first National Youth Mentoring Summit, hosted by @DianaAward. The Diana Award, created in 1999, is a continuation of Princess Diana’s legacy and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. Young people shared their experiences of being mentees and explained why it is so important to them to have businesses, organisations and leaders support mentoring. Two of these were influential young leaders Deborah and Dorcas Kabongo, who won the Diana Award in 2015 for their work on tackling key issues at the root of gang culture, focusing on the role of women and girls in gang-related violence and crime. They are having a real impact on their local community, showing those who may feel that joining a gang is their only option that there are alternatives in life. Since the creation of the Diana Award almost 20 years ago, the charity has recognised 48,000 selfless young people from across the world for their social action and humanitarian work. It has trained over 28,000 young people to stand up to bullying in their schools and communities through Anti-Bullying Ambassador training and supported over 1,000 vulnerable young people across the United Kingdom by introducing a positive role model into their lives through their Mentoring Programme. “I’m struck by a few things today, most of which is the power of the invisible role model. The person who may be sitting here today that doesn’t realise that someone looks up to them, that for that person, you inspire them to be kinder, better, greater, more successful, more impactful.” – The Duke of Sussex Thanks to organisations like The Diana Award the impact that young people can have is heard and acknowledged. For those who wish to become part of the programme and make a difference, please discover our link in bio for more information. Photo credit: Carmel King/The Diana Award
“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.”
Invoking Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, when she was 36 and Harry was 12, he said:
“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. Being a role model and mentor can help heal the wounds of your own past and create a better future for someone else.”
“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.”
Last August marked 21 years since Diana’s death. Prince William recounted his final phone call with his mum, revealing he regrettably hurried her off the phone when she called him and Harry from Paris because both boys wanted to get back to playing with their cousins.
“Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, ‘see you later’. If I’d known now obviously what was going to happen I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it and everything else. But that phone call sticks in my mind, quite heavily,” William said in a documentary titled Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy.
“It was her speaking from Paris,” Harry said. “I can’t really necessarily remember what I said, but all I do remember is probably regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was.”