During a panel at Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, Prince Harry spoke about his desire to use his “position for good” and the impact that his late mother, Princess Diana, had on his being of service to others.
“I think what happened to my mum probably put me a step back, thinking, ‘How could someone who did so much for the world, and did so much for everyone else, be treated like that by a certain institution?'” Prince Harry, as a guest speaker, said. “It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you understand the privileged position that you’re in, you then got to spend the rest of your life earning that privilege and giving back. And also gaining the trust and respect of the general public, and using the position for good.”
His mother Princess Diana, who was famously known as the “People’s Princess”, continues to be a major inspiration for the 33-year-old royal.
“I think she had a lot in common with everybody but also she certainly listened in a very, very short space of time,” Prince Harry said. “In society we suffer from this illusion or this reality where some problems get so big that nobody wants to get involved. She was the one that changed that. I will always look up to her as being my ideal role model because everything she did, and the way she did it, was having an impact, was making a difference.”
The prince also noted how the charitable work of the royal family is a true commitment.
“Because of the position that we’re in … you’re not in it for four years, eight years — you’re in it for life,” he explained. “Therefore everything we can do, we have a bigger, longer platform than politicians.”
“In today’s world, you have to be involved with things that make sense to where your passions lie, rather than show up to a charity once a year,” he continued. “I don’t think that’s beneficial to anybody.”
Earlier that day, Prince Harry and former first lady Michelle Obama went to Hyde Park Academy, a high school across from the future site of the Obama Presidential Center on the city’s South Side.
“Mrs. Obama and Prince Harry surprised approximately 20 students at Hyde Park Academy, a high school across from the future site of the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side of Chicago,” said Caroline Adler Morales, Obama’s Communications Director, in a statement.
According to a press release, “More than a building or a museum, the Obama Foundation will be a living, working center for civic engagement. The Foundation believes in every person’s ability to create positive change in their local community or anywhere in the world.”
“The Foundation’s initiatives inspire and empower people with the skills and tools they need to do just that—to change their world—and train and connect the next generation of civic leaders and active citizens. During this two-day immersive event, five hundred plus rising and established community leaders will come together to exchange ideas, explore creative solutions to common problems, and experience civic art, technology, and music from around the world.”
The warm and wide-ranging conversation, lasting over an hour, covered how the Center will showcase the South Side of Chicago to the world. pic.twitter.com/84lQfvF9iH
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 31, 2017