The Duke of Sussex pays tribute to young changemakers from across the world at a virtual ceremony marking Princess Diana’s 60th birthday
In a surprise address at a virtual award ceremony for The Diana Award, The Duke of Sussex honoured over 300 young people, aged 9-25, from across the world for going above and beyond in their daily lives to create and sustain positive change. The Diana Award is the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action for humanitarian efforts.
The Duke of Sussex highlighted the work of 16 year-old Jacqueline Teague from Louisville, Kentucky, USA. After seeing her grandparents struggle to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, Jacqueline launched ‘VaxconnectKY’ – a campaign to ensure every person in need in Kentucky can easily register for a vaccination.
This has helped over 2000 people to organise or receive their vaccine and led to over 2650 support emails and calls with residents. Jacqueline has become an activist at both the state and local government level, advocating for senior citizens whilst juggling her school life and sports activities. Her efforts have directed attention to the vital issue of vaccine accessibility and provided crucial support to the most vulnerable at a difficult time.
The virtual event coincided with The Diana Award’s release of the 2021 Roll of Honour – listing all the year’s recipients.
The virtual global ceremony marks the lead-up to what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. 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.
These exceptional young people have demonstrated their ability to inspire and mobilise their own generation to serve 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.
“We warmly congratulate our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and across the world who are changemakers for their generation. It is especially poignant as we mark what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. In a year that has seen young people’s lives disrupted by the Pandemic, it is even more important that we honour, celebrate but also invest in young people, from across the world, who through their selfless trailblazing efforts have changed lives in their communities. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens.”
Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive of The Diana Award
“There is great need for young leadership and there is no greater time to be a young leader. I believe in you. We believe in you. And that belief in your own ability to change the world in doing the right thing is what makes you a force to be reckoned with. To all the 2021 Diana Award recipients thank you for inspiring us with your brilliance, your determination and your compassion, your actions hold the potential to leave a life-changing impact. You are putting the ‘do’s’ behind the ‘say’s’, and this is the personification of our mother’s legacy.”
The Duke of Sussex
The Diana Award presenters paid tribute to the young people receiving their award at the virtual ceremony today including:
“The Diana Award is just brilliant, and I have been a keen supporter of their mission and work for years. Like me, they believe that young people have the power to change the world – they are our hope, positivity and light. I wish all of the young people good luck for the 2021 Diana Awards, and a big thank you for everything you do!”
“I am delighted in being able to support and celebrate in the young humanitarians, campaigners and activists who are receiving their Diana Award today. I have read about some of the amazing projects, and I am hugely inspired by everything you have achieved. You are all incredible.”
“It is such a pleasure to be a part of the Virtual Diana Award Ceremony today. I wanted to extend a massive congratulations to all of you for inspiring me and so many other young people watching today to make a positive change in their communities. Now more than ever it is so important to celebrate stories like yours, that offer hope and solutions to issues that affect us all. A huge well done to each of you.”
Alex Aide, Born This Way Foundation
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.
The Diana Award are privileged to be invited to the ‘My Life My Say’ Next Gen conference on the 25th November. We will join around 500 young people and a series of renowned speakers from the world of activism for an exciting day that will explore youth-led solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society.
Five young people share their thoughts and feelings about bullying in their own words, including one of our very own Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
Due to the ongoing support of our incredible corporate partners, The Diana Award were able to expand our anti-bullying efforts across 2023. This Anti-Bullying Week, we wanted to spotlight a few partners, highlighting how they have helped The Diana Award stand up to bullying across the UK.