Prince Harry Displays a Sweet Photo with Mom Princess Diana During Surprise Virtual Appearance

The Duke of Sussex appeared at Travalyst's annual convening on April 16

<p>Travalyst</p> Prince Harry makes a virtual appearance at Travalyst


Prince Harry makes a virtual appearance at Travalyst's annual convening on April 16

Prince Harry was surrounded by personal touches as he made a surprise virtual appearance to support his green travel initiative.

On April 16, the Duke of Sussex, 39, appeared via video to speak at Travalyst’s annual convening in the South of France, where he urged the travel industry to put sustainability at the heart of tourism.

Displayed on the bookshelf behind Prince Harry appeared to be a photo of him as a boy with his late mother, Princess Diana. The picture, which was also featured in black-and-white in Harry’s memoir Spare, showed a young Harry wrapping his arms around his mother as he also rests his head on her shoulder.

Princess Diana died in August 1997 following a car crash in Paris when Prince Harry was just 12.

<p>Vincenzo Izzo/LightRocket via Getty</p> An undated photo of Prince Harry and Princess Diana in his memoir, Spare

Vincenzo Izzo/LightRocket via Getty

An undated photo of Prince Harry and Princess Diana in his memoir, Spare

Related: Prince Harry 'Loves Being a Dad,' Says His Polo Pal: 'I Admire Him So Much as a Parent' (Exclusive)

Eagle-eyed royal fans also spotted that the top of the bookshelf featured a sketch of Meghan Markle featuring the outfits that the Duchess of Sussex wore during the couple's visit to New York City in September 2021. The visit saw the pair take to the stage at Global Citizen Live and tour the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, marking their first joint public appearances since welcoming their daughter Princess Lilibet, now 2, in June 2021.

Jennifer Vallez, the Connecticut-based illustrator behind the artwork, previously told PEOPLE how her pieces became part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's household after an image of their family was spotted in the background of a previous video.

"I received an email from Meghan's assistant expressing appreciation for my illustrations documenting the Duke and Duchess' love story. They conveyed a desire to support my work,” Vallez said. "I was aware they got my art when Meghan sent a lovely handwritten thank-you note. However, I wasn't sure how they'd showcase it. The fact that one of my prints is now in Prince Harry's office is simply surreal!"

Also on the bookcase behind Prince Harry was a book that said "California" on the spine, nodding to the state where Harry and Meghan reside with son Prince Archie, 4, and daughter Princess Lilibet.

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Prince Harry at the launch of Travalyst in September 2019

Chris Jackson/Getty

Prince Harry at the launch of Travalyst in September 2019

Related: Prince Harry Goes Behind the Camera of New Netflix Series in Florida

During his virtual appearance, Prince Harry spoke with people who have been impacted by travel and tourism and stressed that “we must do better by the people who are the custodians of the places we visit.”

“Travel and tourism relies on destinations, held together by communities, without which we have nowhere to travel to,” Harry said, adding that “communities are the beating heart of travel.”

“We've heard from some fantastic organizations like Invisible Cities who train people affected by homelessness to be tour guides in their own city, and Global Himalayan Expedition, whose programs have helped electrify over 200 Himalayan villages impacting over 60,000 lives for the better,” he continued. “More and more people are wanting to make informed travel choices so that the benefit of travel is felt by all. Travalyst and its partners bring a combined market value of nearly $3 trillion and are working hard to provide that resource at a systems level.”

“I think having Prince Harry involved in these sorts of discussions is vital,” said Sally Davey, CEO at Travalyst. “It demonstrates how critical it is to have community voices at the heart of everything that we’re doing. We were there to listen, as was Prince Harry, to hear those voices, to learn, and to understand how can do better by those people and those places.”

“It’s so obvious that he cares,” she added.

<p>Travalyst</p> Prince Harry makes a virtual appearance at Travalyst's annual convening on April 16


Prince Harry makes a virtual appearance at Travalyst's annual convening on April 16

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Prince Harry launched the initiative in September 2019 and shared how it was inspired by an unexpected interaction with a young boy he met during a visit to a coral reef replanting project in the Caribbean back in 2012.

“I had a 7-year-old come up to me, tug my shirt, and say with such conviction: ‘Because of your country, my country’s coral reef is dying,’ ” Harry recalled during his speech. "This boy, despite his age, had touched on a powerful truth. He already understood that the environmental damage caused to the reef was created by the actions of people outside of his country. And he was absolutely spot on."

“His words deeply affected me because they revealed the full impact outsiders can have on a community without even realizing it,” he added.

Prince Harry’s appearance on April 16 comes after his and Meghan's Archewell Productions revealed that two new nonfiction series are in the "early stages" of production at Netflix, with one of the series providing viewers with "unprecedented access to the world of professional polo,” a sport Harry has played for decades.

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