Prince Harry Honors Princess Diana in Touching New Speech

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Toby Melville/Reuters/Splash News

Keeping his mother's promise. At Kensington Palace on Tuesday, Prince Harry gave a speech honoring Princess Diana in light of International Mine Awareness Day. In his speech, Harry gave credit to his mother for the impact her work has had on ridding the world of landmines -- a cause to which he's equally committed. Harry, who, like his mother, has walked through minefields, has vowed to eliminate all landmines by the year 2025. 

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"Twenty years ago, in the last months of her life, my mother campaigned to draw attention to the horrific and indiscriminate impact of landmines," the prince said on behalf of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and The HALO Trust, as reported by People. "She visited affected areas such as Huambo in Angola and Travnik in Bosnia. She heard how people in these communities lived in constant fear that each step may be their last. She met with those who had suffered life changing injuries as a result of anti-personnel mines, she listened to their stories, and helped share them with the world."

Harry also mentioned how this year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty in Ottawa. He, as well as many others involved in the cause, believe that the campaign would have never happened without Diana's tours to Angola and Bosnia, which brought attention to the difficulties survivors of landmines face. 

"I know if my mother was here with us today, she wouldn't be willing to accept any credit for the fact that the Ottawa treaty was signed by 122 states in the same year as her visits to Angola and Bosnia," Harry said in his moving speech. "Rather, she would have applauded the public outrage and the resolve of those in positions of power to end the indiscriminate killing of civilians. She would have applauded that, in a moment of global conscience, the treaty put humanitarian, not military, considerations at its heart."

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After his speech, Harry talked with two landmine survivors, Malic and Zarko, whom Princess Diana met with in 1997, shortly before her death. "Perhaps we can meet again when the world is landmine-free," Harry said to them. "I will be 40 by then."

The men agreed and then Zarko talked about how he remembered every detail of the day he met Diana. "I was so surprised when I saw her. I could not believe my eyes -- it was a princess wearing blue jeans," he said. "I remember her words when she was leaving. She told us, 'You are not going to be forgotten.'"

And thanks to Harry, they won't be. Princess Diana would be so proud. Keep up the honorable work, Harry. 

 
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