Prince Harry sent a video message to the members of charity OnSide Youth Zones

By Phil Boucher
May 11, 2020 05:25 PM
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Prince Harry is sharing a positive mantra to young people during the coronavirus pandemic: "This too shall pass.”

The Duke of Sussex, who’s now living in L.A. with wife Meghan Markle and their 1-year-old son Archie, sent the mindful message to members of the U.K.-based  OnSide Youth Zones via a YouTube post on Sunday.

The charity runs a network of Youth Zones that provide safe, non-threatening locations for young people to hang out with friends and learn from adult role models.

During the ongoing pandemic lockdown, which started in the U.K. on March 23, they've also adapted their role to provide support for thousands of youngsters through phone calls, social media and digital content.

Prince Harry
Invictus Games/Twitter

“Hi guys! Just a few months ago, we were all together in London at the OnSide Youth Zones Awards and, wow, what a night that was,” Harry said in the video, which provided an introduction to the first online screening of the charity’s inaugural awards night in November 2019.

He continued, “I remember meeting so many incredible people and hearing your stories — stories of strength, of determination, of resilience but ultimately of courage. And as I said to you on that night, and I will repeat it again, hats off to every single one of you for surviving but also for thriving.”

With an eye focused on the unique challenges posed to the charity and its members by the COVID-19 lockdown, Harry added, “I can only imagine the last six weeks have made it even more challenging."

He said, "This too shall pass. And before you know it, you will be back together again, probably in a Youth Zone, you know, running around, having the best time ever."

“I am hugely privileged and honored to be part of the OnSide community. So have fun, I look forward to seeing you guys soon and soak up the positivity of this night because it really was amazing."

Prince Harry
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

M0re than 3,000 people tuned in to watch the live stream of the OnSide awards during Sunday's screening — the first time it has been shown in its entirety.

Harry’s appearance at the event at London's Royal Albert Hall was his final public engagement before he and Meghan enjoyed six weeks of valuable “family time” away from the spotlight on Vancouver Island.

In January, the couple returned from this hiatus to drop the news that they would step back from senior royal duties while also hoping to continue their positive work with charities based in the U.K. and around the globe.

In recent weeks the Duke and Duchess have publicly honored this promise, with Harry appearing in video calls for the Invictus Games 2020, the new HeadFIT mental health initiative and in support of caregivers of seriously-ill children.

Prince Harry at the inaugural OnSide Awards in London in November.
Matt Dunham – WPA Pool/Getty Images

"It's a big deal for us having someone of Prince Harry's influence as a supporter. He's really in tune with young people, so he totally gets the issues that they face," an OnSide spokesperson tells PEOPLE about Harry's video message, which was publicized at the last minute "as a surprise."

The spokesperson adds, "Shortly after he moved away, he reassured us that he still wants to keep supporting us and doing whatever he can for us. In the current situation, I can't imagine he'll be back visiting a Youth Zone any time soon but he's said he's keen to stay in touch with us and will continue to help out wherever he can."

Meghan has also remained connected to key causes in the U.K., reaching out to the Hubb Community Kitchen, with whom she created a charity recipe book Together: Our Community Cookbook.

Meghan Markle on a call with Hubb Kitchen.
Courtesy Duchess of Sussex

On April 29 — almost one month after her exit from royal life — she also volunteered to speak with clients at Smart Works, a charity that helps women find employment with coaching tips and professional attire for their job interviews.