In a recent interview with People, Prince Harry spoke at length about his mother’s profound influence.
Although Princess Diana passed when Harry was only 12, he admitted that he had spent his life working towards making a difference in the world – a virtuous path he knows would have made his mother proud.
“All I want to do is make my mother incredibly proud… That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Speaking about the effect his mother’s death had on, not only himself, but the rest of the world, Prince Harry noted that he felt a duty to uphold Princess Diana’s values.
“When she died, there was a gaping hole, not just for us but also for a huge amount of people across the world,” he says. “If I can try and fill a very small part of that, then job done. I will have to, in a good way, spend the rest of my life trying to fill that void as much as possible. And so will William.”
Harry was quick to point out that his charity work is not as a result of Diana, but more of an altruistic venture led by inspiration he received from his late mother.
“I enjoy what I do. But I don’t do things because I feel as though my mother would want me to do them.”
And yet, he says, “I know I’ve got a lot of my mother in me. I am doing a lot of things that she would probably do.”
He spoke with journalists at Kensington Palace before leaving the country to oversee the opening of the Invictus Games.
Now in its second year, the Invictus games began as a way for Harry to give back to the veteran community and process some of his own pain, after serving two tours of Afghanistan from 2012-13.
The former Apache helicopter pilot spoke about his experience on the ground and how conducting rescue missions often left him feeling powerless.
“You turn up and you think you’re invincible in a super-duper aircraft, but you’re helpless,” he says. “Then I come back and I say, ‘How can I use my name and that spotlight to the best effect?’ ” Creating the Games, he notes, was “almost like a cure for that pain I had back then.”
This year, 300 new participants, along with returning competitors, across 13 countries will compete in nine different sports.
“There’s a huge percentage of guys and girls that came through in the last Invictus who are no longer here, because they’ve used it as part of their rehab, and now are back in employment or wherever it may be.”