Prince Harry has taken part in a new mentoring campaign — The Diana Award Mentoring Appeal run by the Diana Award, the only official charity set up in the late royal's name

By Simon Perry
July 02, 2019 11:03 AM
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Prince Harry
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Just as Princess Diana was an inspiration to so many around the world, Prince Harry wants to be a role model for his son, Archie.

The new father, 34, has taken part in a new mentoring campaign — The Diana Award Mentoring Appeal run by the Diana Award, the only official charity set up in the late royal’s name. In a speech at The Diana Award National Youth Mentoring Summit at Banking Hall on Tuesday, Harry revealed how fatherhood has changed his perspective on setting a good example for those around him.

“I’m struck by a few things today, most of which is the power of the invisible role model,” he said. “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 continued, “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. 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.”

Prince Harry
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Archie
@SussexRoyal/PA Wire/Shutterstock

Harry added that his mother, who died in a 1997 car crash in Paris, inspired people around the world.

“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,” he said. “Being a role model and mentor can help heal the wounds of your own past and create a better future for someone else.”

Prince Harry concluded his speech, “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.”

Princess Diana and Prince Harry in 1986
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The charity, which recently celebrated it’s 20th anniversary, hopes the first National Youth Mentoring Summit will bring together young people, industry leaders and experts, as well as business people and government officials to emphasize the importance of mentoring.

Harry has visited some of the Diana Award’s mentoring days, and his office says that he believes “every child should be given the opportunity and support they need to fulfill their potential, regardless of their background or situation.”

“Through a program of public and private visits, His Royal Highness regularly supports projects that enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to build their skills and confidence.”

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The Diana Award charity has focused on mentoring as a way of breaking down the barriers of social mobility in the lives of vulnerable young people and can help them develop the practical skills that they need in order to achieve their goals.

When he arrived at the summit, held in the business district of London, Harry met some of the young people, who have been mentees and representatives from organizations and have seen the business benefits of becoming mentors. The prince then listened to a panel discussion on some of the barriers teenagers face and what businesses are doing to help them before sharing some words of his own.

Prince Harry
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Harry’s involvement was praised by chief executive of the charity, Tessy Ojo.

“Our ambition is to create the UK’s first Mentoring Index which will recognize companies who are demonstrating a real and lasting commitment to bridge the social divide by mentoring young people,” she said.

Urging companies to sign up to “allow their staff to have mentoring time to help a young person in their community,” Ojo added, “Too many young people grow up without a positive role model in their lives. We know that mentoring is fundamental to breaking down the barriers of social mobility in the lives of vulnerable young people. Everyone has something to offer – regardless of industry, age or experience.”