July 1, 2020

The 2020 Diana Award

The Duke of Sussex, Dame Emma Thompson, Liam Payne and Miranda Hart among guests honouring young changemakers from across the world with The Diana Awa

The first virtual ceremony for The Diana Award took place today, on The Diana Award YouTube channel.

Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex. Today marks what would have been Princess Diana’s 59th birthday.

These exceptional young people have this year demonstrated their ability to inspire and mobilise their own generation to service their communities through campaigning, volunteering, fundraising, fighting injustice or overcoming extreme life challenges. Although their causes and backgrounds are varied, what they all have in common is that they are changing their communities and the world.

The Duke of Sussex, on behalf of him and his brother, surprised the changemakers with a congratulatory video message and to give a special mention to those people who have been awarded for their work on issues related to race and injustice. In particular, The Duke highlighted the work of 24-year-old James Frater from London, UK, who is tackling racial inequality by creating initiatives to increase the representation of black students at university.

The Vamps star James McVey hosted the 2020 Diana Award’s, which saw support from a host of celebrities who honoured young changemakers from all over the globe. Virtually presenting and surprising the young people for their work were The Duke of Sussex, Ade Adepitan MBE, Aisling Bea, Katie Boulter, YolanDa Brown, Miranda Hart, Steph McGovern, James McVey, Liam Payne, Will Poulter, Ashley Singh, Dan Smith – Bastille, Cel Spellman, Dame Emma Thompson DBE, Sam and Mark, Hacker the Dog.

The virtual awards, coincides with The Diana Award’s release of the 2020 Roll of Honour listing all the year’s 184 recipients.

“I am truly blown away by all the young changemakers being celebrated today. They are tackling some of the world’s biggest issues, from mental health and climate change, access to education and sanitation, gender equality and racial injustice, a systemic issue that has recently come to the surface and I am truly proud of how these young people from across the globe are fighting hard to create a better world for us all. Beyond today’s celebration, we remained committed to working alongside these young people in rebuilding a society that works for all. We are proud of our over 20-year history of creating and championing change for young people.”

Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive of The Diana Award

The Diana Award presenters paid tribute to the young people receiving their award at the virtual ceremony today including:

“I am so incredibly proud to be part of these awards as they honour the legacy of my mother and bring out the very best in people like you. You are all doing such incredible work and at a time of great uncertainty, you have found the power and inspiration inside of you to make a positive mark on the world, and I love that The Diana Award is able to help you do it. I know that my mother has been an inspiration to many of you and I can assure you she would have been fighting your corner. Right now, we’re seeing situations around the world where division, isolation and anger are dominating as pain and trauma come to the surface. But I see the greatest hope in people like you and I’m confident about the worlds future and its ability to heal because it is in your hands.”

The Duke of Sussex

The Duke of Sussex surprises The Diana Award recipients.
The Duke of Sussex surprises The Diana Award recipients.
“I’m thrilled to be sending a huge congratulations to literally everybody. I’ve read all the case studies – what amazing work you’re all doing from knife crime, to deradicalization, to gender rights, to cancer, to food inequality. You are all immensely impressive, and I send you such congratulations and such love during these strange, strange times. Your voices are the most important voices. Your voices are the future, and I salute you all with all my heart.”

Dame Emma Thompson

“Young people are the future of our society so for me it’s important to recognise their achievements and the contributions they’re making. When we celebrate young people it puts the often-invisible social change work in the spotlight and I’m proud to be supporting The Diana Award and the young changemakers who are making the world a better place for all of us.”

Liam Payne

“It has been truly incredible to read the achievements of the young activists who are rightly being celebrated with a Diana Award.  They deserve our recognition for the difference they are already making in their young lives, inspiring others, following what is on their heart and bravely finding their voice to raise awareness of vital issues that need to be heard and need change.”

Miranda Hart

“A massive congratulations to everyone receiving a Diana Award today. Now more than ever it’s so important to celebrate social justice in young people and The Diana Award is a brilliant way of doing that.”

Dan Smith, Bastille

The Diana Award full virtual ceremony is available to watch again here.

The Duke of Sussex’ video message at the ceremony can be viewed here.

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