"Harry's name was put forward because of his astonishing commitment to helping those in and out of the military, promoting awareness of the triumphs and travails of that life," a source told an outlet.
Journalists who disapproved of the decision to celebrate Harry's career wondered if the reward was for notoriety or media attention, but the anonymous confidant made it clear that the board believed it was well-earned.
The ceremony will be hosted by John Travolta, and the insider revealed the actor played an integral role in Harry receiving the distinction. Travolta was fond of Harry's mother, Princess Diana, and the pair share a unique dynamic.
"Of course, John was an advocate for Harry and supported his nomination," the source noted. "He has always felt a connection to him, especially because he and Diana enjoyed that moment of pop culture history by dancing at the White House."
Harry, who left the royal family in 2020, is committed to service and his charitable efforts have been applauded in the past.
"Prince Harry is a humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate and environmentalist," the friend stated. "He has dedicated his life to advancing causes that he is passionate about and that bring about permanent change for people and places."
However, the former Head of the Royal Navy Lord West didn't approve of referring to Harry as an epic figure within the field.
"He is not a living legend of aviation. To suggest he is is pathetic. It makes the whole thing seem a bit of a nonsense if they're willing to pick someone like Prince Harry," West said in an interview.
"He didn't carry off any great exciting feat of amazing flying skill while flying for the Army. They're just trying to get publicity. They know it will cause a stir," the veteran shared.
Never miss a story — sign up for the OK! newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what OK! has to offer. It’s gossip too good to wait for!
"No doubt his founding of the Invictus Games has been taken into account but 'living legend' is surely ridiculous," Fitzwilliams continued. "Prince Harry was a brave Apache pilot during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was, however, unwise enough to list the number of Taliban he personally killed in his autobiography Spare, which drew much criticism."
Sources spoke to Daily Mail.