The Duke of Sussex made the comments in a virtual appearance for the opening ceremony of the 23rd International Aids Conference. He said in a video message recorded in LA: “This year’s theme is resilience – something all of us around the globe have understood a deep need for, specifically over recent months. And for many, digging deep to find that resilience has been a challenging experience.”
He continued: “But for those who have been affected by HIV and Aids, the example of resilience within oneself, and within the community, has been felt and fostered for decades.”
The Duke, who is living in LA with his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was filmed against a leafy backdrop under a clear- blue sky.
Harry said through Sentebale, the charity he co-founded in 2006, he had been inspired by the resilience of young people “every single day”.
The charity’s initial aim was to help those affected by HIV in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho.
Prince Harry admits ‘challenging’ experience as Duke opens up on ‘inspiring’ work
Harry and Meghan speak out on Commonwealth in video message
Ahead of introducing two of the charity’s Let Youth Lead advocates, the Duke praised them for being willing to speak out on justice, on HIV prevention and on creating a more inclusive environment for those with HIV.
He said: “When they face setbacks, they not only push back, they bounce back and they are resilience personified.”
The Duke called on young people to share their stories on the Aids 2020 online platform and on social media using the hashtags #AIDS2020Virtual and #resilience.
Harry’s plea comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke out in another virtual appearance as part of a Queen’s Commonwealth Trust event on Monday.
The former working royals called for the Commonwealth to “acknowledge the past” even if it is “uncomfortable”.
Speaking via video-link to young leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, the Duke and Duchess pointed to the Commonwealth’s past “of colonialism and the subjugation of peoples”.
During the discussion on historical injustices, Prince Harry said: “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.
“So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.
“It’s not going to be easy and in some cases it’s not going to be comfortable but it needs to be done, because guess what, everybody benefits.”
The Duchess added: “We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships.
“Equality does not put anyone on the back foot, it puts us all on the same footing – which is a fundamental human right.”
More to follow…