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Prince Harry Says Princess Diana Inspired His Love for Charity Work: “Do the Stuff Behind the Scenes”

Prince Harry doing charity work in Lesotho in 2014
Prince Harry visited Lesotho in 2014 to see the work of his charity Sentebale Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Sentebale

Love and legacy. In a new interview with The UK’s Mirror, Prince Harry shared that his late mother, Princess Diana, inspired his love for charity work.

The royal, 31, who participated in a 17-mile leg of Walking with the Wounded’s Walk of Britain, spoke to reporters at Ludlow Castle on Wednesday, Sept. 30, about his late mom and her wealth of philanthropic work. Diana’s humanitarian work included visiting with sick children, aiding the homeless, and touching lives overseas in underdeveloped countries.

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“It’s equally important, if not more so, to do the stuff behind the scenes,” Harry said of his royal duties. “It’s something that our mother did a lot of. And that’s the time that you really get to learn. You get the experiences and you actually get the honest truth out of people.”

princess diana doing charity work
Princess Diana visited an orthopedic workshop in Angola in 1997 Tim Graham/Getty Images

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Since leaving the armed forces in June, Harry has made a global push for his passion project, the Invictus Games, which helps wounded warriors. “I thought, ‘Hang on. I’ve spent 10 years in the army doing something that I really love, being hidden away from the limelight,'” he told the Mirror. “‘Time to give back.'”

Prince George and Princess Charlotte‘s handsome uncle revealed that he had the epiphany while working closely with wounded men and women at the Ministry of Defense’s Recovery Unit in London, where he is currently employed.

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“[I] suddenly realized, I can now be the perfect spokesperson for these guys,” Harry shared. “I know what they’ve been through.”

prince harry and princess diana in 1987
Prince Harry with Princess Diana in 1987 Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash in 1997 at age 36. At the time of her death, Princes Harry and William were ages 12 and 15, respectively.

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In August 2007, the brothers paid tribute to their beloved mother at a memorial service. “William and I can separate life into two parts,” Harry said at the time in his emotional speech. “There were those years where we were blessed with the physical presence beside us of both our mother and father [Prince Charles]. And then there are the 10 years since our mother’s death.”

Watch a throwback video of Princess Diana and her boys above.

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