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Prince Harry pays tribute to Princess Diana as he accepts 'Living Legend of Aviation' award

Prince Harry shirked the red carpet on his visit to the event (AP)
Prince Harry shirked the red carpet on his visit to the event (AP)

Prince Harry paid tribute to Princess Diana at the Living Legends of Aviation awards by shouting out host John Travolta - who danced with the late Royal in 1985.

The Duke of Sussex was only one when the actor danced with his late mother in the White House but was keen to share the memory at the event in Beverly Hills on Friday.

The 39-year-old avoided the red carpet at the ceremony where he took a Living Legend of Aviation award to mark his work as a helicopter pilot with the British Army in Afghanistan.

The 1985 photo of John Travolta with Princess Diana (REUTERS)
The 1985 photo of John Travolta with Princess Diana (REUTERS)

After taking the award from Travolta, the prince said: "I was just a one-year-old when you danced with my mum at the White House and now look at us!"

"The only thing left to do is... not dance together but fly together."

Travolta has himself been made a legend at the event which honours those who have made “significant contributions to aviation/aerospace”.

US-based Prince Harry is thought to have been in contact with his relatives with his sister in law, the Princess of Wales, having had abdominal surgery this week and his father, King Charles, also set for treatment to an enlarged prostate.

However, Prince Harry chose not to mention these events in his speech.

Instead the prince made jokes, paid tribute to the Kiddie Hawk Academy - a non profit which set up the event, and spoke of his pride to be included.

"For me, flying has been a transcendent experience," he said.

"A close encounter with magic, an invitation to both protect freedom… and to feel free; and, funny enough, an opportunity to ground oneself, without actually being grounded.

"I find my flight training — which was over the course of three years— to be one of life’s greatest lessons. In this lesson, it triggered a vast array of feelings!"

Prince Harry in 2012 (PA)
Prince Harry in 2012 (PA)

Jeff Bezos, William Shatner, Kurt Russell, General Patrick Brady, and Morgan Freeman have all been inducted which has led to claims that the event is more about celebrity than honour.

Retired British Army officer Colonel Richard Kemp said: "I can understand why it's happening. It's all obviously about publicity. He's a celebrity and a very well-known person.

"Of course it gives publicity to this award and the people that are promoting it.

"But there are many people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, possibly even fighting now against the terrorism in Yemen.

"A large number of military pilots, helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft have carried out some extraordinary feats of valour and phenomenal aviation that I'm afraid Harry didn't do."