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Prince Harry expresses knife crime concerns as he says Archie has made him a better role model

The Duke of Sussex met teenagers at a day-long conference, staged by the Diana Award, set up to raise awareness about the positive effect of mentoring. Credit: PA

Prince Harry has spoken of the "clarity" his new son has given him and how Archie has inspired him to be a better role model to others.

The Duke of Sussex joined a summit on mentoring where he also remarked on the closure of youth centres which he was told had contributed to the recent rise in knife crime, particularly in London.

The event was organised by the charity, The Diana Award, set up after the death of his mother in 1997.

Harry, who became a dad in May, said he had been struck by the power of the "invisible role model" who can inspire someone to be "kinder, better, greater, more successful, more impactful".

And then he added: "Perhaps it's the newfound clarity I have as a father knowing that my son will always be watching what I do, mimicking my behaviour, one day maybe even following in my footsteps."

The charity is trying to recruit 500 new mentors particularly for those aged 11-12 years moving into secondary school.

When 14-year old Julia Antonczuk from North London told him that her school was trying to get people off the streets and into youth clubs, the prince noted how many are closing down in part due to funding issues.

Harry said: "It's a sign of how it goes full circle. We have more things than we need for young people and then for one reason or another - maybe down to funding - youth clubs, sports zones, all these places, get closed down."

He added: "I have visited thousands of community centres, sports clubs, and youth zones over the years – and I have witnessed first-hand the alchemy that occurs when two people are in sync and mutually benefitting each other."

The Royal Family is always very cautious when it comes to commenting on public funding as it is a political matter.

The chief executive of The Diana Award said Harry was right to be concerned and urged more mentors to come forward who could help in the battle against knife crime on the streets of many cities in the UK.

Tessy Ojo told us: "It's got to change. Our young people are crying out for help."

She said: "We know that mentoring has an incredible impact, mentoring changes the trajectory of young people's lives."

It would have been Princess Diana's 58th birthday on July 1. Credit: PA

The Diana Award is asking business to help them reach their goal of recruiting more mentors in schools.

On the day after his mother's birthday, Prince Harry told the mentors and mentees in the room that Princess Diana would have been delighted at the progress they all had made.

Harry said: "I am incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved, and I can safely say that my mother, who would have turned 58 yesterday, would feel the same."