She considered herself Prince Harry’s biggest fan — and no one dared to disagree.
Daphne Dunne, who always received a warm welcome from the royal during each of his recent visits to Australia, has died at 99.
She passed away from pneumonia Monday, days after she received a card from Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
“She was a truly special lady who will be greatly missed by so many. The simple act of stoping (sic) Daphne in the street and holding her hand meant more to Daphne than anyone could ever imagine,” her children said in an Instagram post. “We, her family, would like to thank everyone for the love and support they showed Daphne.”
Dunne first met Harry in 2015 as she waited with other fans to catch a glimpse of the royal during a walkabout outside the Sydney Opera House. The trip came at the end of Harry’s monthlong deployment with the Australian Army.
Dunne made such an impression on Harry that the prince greeted her like an old friend when he returned to Australia in 2017 to help with launch plans for the following year’s Invictus Games Sydney.
Arguably, Harry’s most memorable visit with Dunne came during his most recent trip, when he introduced her to his new bride.
Meghan held Dunne’s hands as she and Harry chatted with her during the couple’s visit to Sydney last October. The stop was part of an official tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, and started immediately after news broke that the pair was expecting their first child. The baby is due this spring.
“I’ve heard so much about you. All good things,” Meghan told Dunne last year. “Hopefully next time we see you we’ll have a little one with us.”
Dunne lost her first husband in 1945 during World War II. Lt. Albert Crowne was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest honor awarded to members of the British Armed Forces. Dunne wore his Victoria Cross when she first met Harry.
“She spent a large part of her life representing the women of the Australian Army and her two husbands Lt. Albert Crowne VC MM and John Patrick Dunne, ensuring that their service to Australia was never forgotten,” her family wrote on Instagram.
Dunne celebrated her 99th birthday just days before she died.
“I received a lovely message from Prince Harry and Meghan which really made my day. I wanted to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday, it means a lot and has touched my heart,” she wrote on social media.