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Princes William, Harry honor Princess Diana separately amid family drama

Princes William and Harry appeared separately at an event on Thursday to honor their late mother Princess Diana and young people working to change the world.

Marking the 25th anniversary of the Diana Award, William, the Prince of Wales, attended in person to give his speech and present The Legacy Award at the ceremony, which was held at the Science Museum in London, according to Kensington Palace.

The Diana Award was established in 1999 by the British government. The organization's website states that it was launched "in memory of Diana, the late Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world."

According to a news release from the organization, the Legacy Award takes place every two years and "is the most prestigious accolade a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work."

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"The Legacy Award and Development Programme aspires to be the world's premier award and fellowship programme for the next generation of changemakers. Young people who are selflessly transforming their communities and society at large using innovative solutions," the Diana Award website states. "The Award recognises these remarkable individuals under the age of 25 who confront adversity with boldness, tackling significant challenges with ground-breaking ideas poised to make global impact."

Twenty Legacy Award recipients were chosen this year to receive the honor.

In his speech Thursday, William said this year's ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary was "particularly special."

MORE: Prince William attends royal engagement amid Kate Middleton photo controversy

"I know that she would have been honored to see a charity in her name doing such inspirational work to uplift young people from all corners of the globe," William said, referring to his late mother, who died in 1997. "She taught me that everyone has the potential to give something back, that everyone in need deserves a supporting hand in life."

William noted that the legacy of the charity is something he and his wife Kate, the Princess of Wales, "have sought to focus on through our work."

"I am incredibly proud to see this manifested in the amazing young people receiving the Legacy Award tonight," he added.

Harry, the Duke of Sussex, joined virtually to speak with Diana Award recipients after William left.

"Thank you, very much, for inspiring so many others and at the same time protecting my mother’s legacy, I really appreciate that," Harry said, congratulating Diana Award CEO Tessy Ojo on choosing a "fantastic group of individuals" to receive the honor.

The decision for William and Harry to attend Thursday's event separately comes amid ongoing controversy surrounding the royal family.

PHOTO: Prince William, Prince of Wales attends Westminster Abbey, March 11, 2024 in London. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speaks at the Invictus Games Sept. 16, 2023. (Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Prince William, Prince of Wales attends Westminster Abbey, March 11, 2024 in London. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speaks at the Invictus Games Sept. 16, 2023. (Getty Images, FILE)

The brothers have remained publicly distant in recent years, following a decision by Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to step down from their roles as senior working royals and move to California in 2020, as well as the publication of Harry's memoir "Spare" in January last year, which among other things gave a detailed account of his rift with his family. Harry and Meghan currently reside in Montecito with their children Archie and Lilibet.

Speculation surrounding William's wife Kate has also grown in recent weeks as she has been completely out of the spotlight following a "planned abdominal surgery" in January. Kate's last official public appearance was on Christmas Day, and she is not expected to return to royal duties until later this spring.

The controversy snowballed earlier this month after the royal couple shared a photo on their official X account to mark Mother's Day in the U.K. Credit for the photo was issued to William.

Not long after it was posted, the image, which featured Kate and the couple's three children, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte, was retracted by global news agencies amid concerns it was "manipulated."

Kate has since issued a rare public apology, admitting to editing the photo and writing that she was sorry for any "confusion" the photo caused.

William has not commented publicly on the photo.

ABC News' Zoe Magee contributed to this report.

Princes William, Harry honor Princess Diana separately amid family drama originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com