Princes William and Harry Honor Princess Diana's 61st Birthday

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Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry in 1995
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry in 1995

Prince William is emotionally honoring his mother on what would have been her 61st birthday. The prince spoke of Princess Diana's legacy in a letter released on social media on July 1, which was addressed to this year's Diana Award recipients. The Diana Award is given to people between the ages 9 and 25 in honor of social action or humanitarian work. Winners must be nominated, and this year's recipients include 20 Americans.

"Congratulations on receiving The Diana Award today! You are part of an inspirational generation of young people who are changing the world through your actions, and I hugely admire your efforts," Prince William wrote in the letter. "I hugely admire your efforts. Your stories are remarkable. Many of you face huge challenges in the face of difficult times, yet you are tirelessly breaking down barriers to create a better future for us all."

Prince William called the honorees "the personification of my mother's legacy," noting, "I know she would be so proud of you all." The 40-year-old added, "I believe there's no better way to celebrate her life and work than through recognising incredible people who dedicate so much time and effort to helping those around them."

Related: Kate Middleton's Green Portrait Gown Is a Regal Tribute to Princess Diana

Diana was killed in a 1997 car accident in Paris, leaving behind her two sons with Prince Charles: William and Prince Harry, 37. The brothers have often publicly spoken about their mother and her lasting impact almost 25 years after her death.

Prince Harry spoke about seeing his mother through his own children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, during the July 1 virtual ceremony honoring the Diana Award recipients, according to People.

"Today, we're reflecting on what would have been my mother's 61st birthday. And this year is also 25 years since her passing. There isn't a day during the past two and half decades where I haven't thought about the mark she left not only on me and my brother, but on all of our lives," Harry said, adding: "I see her legacy in all of you. I see her legacy in a Diana Award community that spans multiple generations. I see her legacy every time I meet with families, young people, and children from all corners of the world. And, I see my mum's legacy when I look at my own children every day."

Related: Meghan Markle Channels Princess Diana in Pinstripe Pants at Lili's Birthday Party