Prince Harry says world on cusp of change in surprise appearance at awards honouring Diana

Watch: Prince Harry flies to UK for Diana statue unveiling

Prince Harry has said he and his wife feel the world is on the "cusp of change" as he delivered a message to the winners of the Diana award, set up in his mother's name.

Harry is in the UK ahead of the unveiling of the statue of his late mother on Thursday, which would have been her 60th birthday, and sent a video message to the annual awards in which he referenced the event.

He mentioned that he and his brother, Prince William will be there, before turning to address the coronavirus pandemic and its wider impacts.

Prince Harry said: "Meghan and I fundamentally believe that our world is at the cusp of change, real change for the good of all. But the question before us is what that change will look like.

"The COVID-19 crisis exposed severe iniquities and imbalances around the world, we saw the disproportionate effect of this on communities of colour, on women, on underserved communities and on less wealthy countries."

He continued: "We have seen and unless we take swift action, will continue to see, a disparity in our humanitarian and moral obligation to vaccinate the world."

Harry, 36, said there was "no greater time to be a young leader", adding "we believe in you".

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He said of the winners: "You are putting the dos behind the says and this is the personification of our mother's legacy."

Sharing the video on Instagram, the Diana Award group said: "In particular, The Duke highlighted the work of 16-year-old Jacqueline Teague from Kentucky USA, who has directed her efforts to the vital issue of vaccine accessibility and provided crucial support to the most vulnerable at a difficult time."

The organisation tagged Sussex Royal, the now mothballed account once used by Harry and Meghan to promote their work when they were senior working royals.

Harry also sent a video message to the 2020 Diana Awards, then filmed from California. It's not clear if the film shown on Monday was filmed in California, where the Duke of Sussex lives, or in Frogmore Cottage, where he is staying in quarantine before Thursday's event.

Prince Harry spoke about the upcoming unveiling of the statue to his mother. (Diana Award)
Prince Harry spoke about the upcoming unveiling of the statue to his mother. (Diana Award)

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All eyes will be on Kensington Palace on Thursday when the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex reunite for the first time since the funeral of Prince Philip in April, to unveil the statue of Diana.

According to the Daily Telegraph, William will show the statue to his three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, before the small event on Thursday.

The Duchess of Cambridge is now not scheduled to attend, possibly to reflect the fact that Harry's wife Meghan could not make the journey to the UK having given birth to their daughter Lilibet less than a month ago.

Harry has maintained a close link with the Diana Award over the years, which recognises young leaders around the world.

Watch: Prince William plans private family visit to Princess Diana statue before official unveiling