Prince Harry made a surprise appearance at a youth empowerment event in Toronto yesterday (28 September) – but everyone’s favourite royal wasn’t just there to smile and wave.
In fact, Harry came armed with a powerful message about “clickbait culture” and the importance of tearing oneself away from social media.
“I get that the challenges we face sometimes seem complex and even scary, especially when we don't know who to turn to for answers.
“I know that while this generation of young people wants to make our world a better place, you often struggle to get your voices heard… and I see that you're frustrated, that entrenched mindsets are not keeping pace with the urgency of the threats to our environment.”
However, Harry had some advice for those attending the event, designed as a celebration of young people making a difference both in their communities and globally.
“The thousands of you gathered here are proof that today’s generation of young people is the most connected, most energised, and most confident the planet has ever known.
“You know that differences of opinion, of circumstance, of race and religion, are to be respected and celebrated. You know that in a clickbait culture, we cannot waste time sharing and drawing attention to things that make us angry, or that we know to be false.
“You all know that it’s great to ‘like’ things on social media, but that it’s more important to look up from our phones, to get out into our communities, and to take real action; to stand up for what you believe in.”
There are a lot of scary forces in the world right now, said the prince, but hope for the future should remain the most important focus.
With a wry chuckle, Harry added: “Sadly, I’m now part of a slightly older generation!
“But in the years to come I want to work with you to help encourage, identify and support the new generation of leadership, both local and global leaders.”
The prince is in Toronto for the Invictus Games, the athletic competition for wounded military members that he founded in 2014.
Images: Rex Features