As a new dad, Prince Harry is looking to his parents for inspiration, and what Prince Harry learned from Princess Diana as a parent has never been more relevant. In honor of what would have been his late mother’s 58th birthday on July 1, the Duke of Sussex attended the Diana Award National Youth Summit on Tuesday, where he gave a speech about what his late mother taught him — both as a prince and as a father to his newborn son, Archie Harrison, who he shares with his wife, Meghan Markle.
“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,” 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 by explaining that his behavior doesn’t only influence his son, but a whole population as well. “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,” he said. “From small acts of kindness to large measures of character — each move that we make matters, especially when we don’t think anyone is watching. That is when our true character comes to light.”
Harry went on to talk about his late mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in August 1997. Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s youngest son opened up about what his mother taught him as a role model. “My mother, Princess Diana, was a role model to so many, without realizing the impact she would have on so many lives,” he said. “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.”
Harry continued, “Being a role model and mentor can help heal the wounds of your own past and create a better future for someone else. As proven by today’s inspirational youth, and many of the stories we’ve heard this afternoon, the impact of a mentor has the power to make society richer, happier, kinder and more aligned.”
Harry’s comments come a day after his older brother, Prince William, surprised well-wishers at a vigil for Princess Diana outside Kensington Palace. It may be more than 20 years since Princess Diana’s death, but her memory lives on with her boys.