PRINCES William and Harry have honoured a boy from Wiltshire who campaigns for the rights of disabled people to be taught equally.
Jonathan Bryan, who has severe cerebral palsy, received the inaugural Diana Legacy award at a ceremony at St James’s Palace yesterday.
The 11-year-old from Stanton St Quintin has spearheaded the Teach Us Too campaign that has attracted more nearly 200,000 signatures to a petition on change.org.
He was one of 20 young people invited to London to receive the award that marks 20 years since Princess Diana died.
(The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry with the 20 winners. Photo: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire)
Jonathan was nominated for the award in recognition his work in campaigning for children like him to be taught to read and write in school.
Jonathan’s family have felt that he was cast aside by the education system because of his disabilities but his mother, Chantal, has taught him to read and write.
He communicates using a spelling board and is in the middle of writing a book after being commissioned to write a poem about Easter that was read out on Clare Balding's Radio 2 show.
(Jonathan talks to Prince Harry about his campaign. Photo: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire)
Jonathan said: “I am excited, honoured and humbled to have received an inaugural Diana Legacy Award from HRH Prince William and HRH Prince Harry at St James’s Palace yesterday.
“Meeting the inspiring young people who also received the award was a privilege and I am humbled to hold the same accolade as them.
“The Teach Us Too campaign journey has not been trail blazed alone, and I receive this award with thanks in my heart to everyone who has travelled the path with me and I am immensely grateful for the Diana Award for joining me as I seek to be a voice for the voiceless.
Speaking about the day at St James’s Palace, he said: “It was amazing.
“Prince Harry chatted with me which was the highlight of the day.
“He talked to me about how I communicate and about my campaign.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Prince William said: "This summer marks 20 years since our mother died and she achieved so much in her life, from helping to shatter the stigma around Aids, to fighting to ban landmines and supporting the homeless - she touched the lives of millions.
(Prince William and Prince Harry speaking at the inaugural Diana Legacy Award at St James's Palace in London. Photo: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire)
"The truth is though, she was taken at only 36, just slightly older then I am today.
"Of course we can never know what our mother would have gone on to do, but in one sense Harry and I feel that our mother lives on in the countless acts of compassion and bravery that she inspires in others.
"That is why we are so pleased that her name is being put to good use by the Diana Award to recognise young people who are making a mark in the world around them."
Prince Harry added: "I cannot believe how young you all are, most of you are still at school. When you get some spare time on your hands you're saving lives and inspiring people.
"You should be absolutely proud of what you've started and what you've achieved, you're still in your teenage years - don't stop now guys."
Jonathan writes a regular blog which can be followed by visiting eyecantalk.net