Prince Harry's biggest royal fan Daphne Dunne has passed away. Harry met Daphne three times during his visits to Australia, and at their most recent reunion in October 2018, the Prince had the honour of introducing his wife Meghan to the 99-year-old widower. The news of Daphne's death was announced by Australian media, who revealed she passed away days after her 99th birthday after battling pneumonia. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been left deeply saddened. The couple are to write privately to the family of war widow Daphne to express their condolences. Their thoughts are said to be with Mrs Dunne's family and friends at this difficult time.
Harry and Daphne's friendship began in 2015 when the Prince stopped to talk to the widower during a walkabout outside Sydney Opera House. Daphne was wearing her late husband Albert Chowne's medals, including his Victoria Cross which was posthumously-awarded for his actions during the Second World War.
Harry met Daphne for the first time in 2015
The medals caught the eye of Harry, then 30, who bent down to ask Daphne about the honours. Daphne revealed: "He got close to me and he said, 'I know what that is.' And I said, 'Well, you should.'" After their conversation, the Prince sweetly kissed Daphne on the cheek.
Two years later in 2017, the pair's reunion was caught on camera when Harry once again returned to Sydney. Despite the torrential rain and thunderstorm, Daphne, who was 97 at the time, waited in the damp weather. Much to her delight Harry spotted her and rushed over to give Daphne a big hug and a peck on the cheek.
Harry spotted that Daphne was wearing her husband's medals
"He kissed me on the other cheek this time," said Ms Dunne, who was again wearing her husband's medals. "He really is a lovely young man and he's warm and genuine and really cares about the injured servicemen and women, he's doing a fantastic job supporting them."
During Harry and Meghan's royal visit to Australia in 2018, the Duchess, who was in the early stages of her pregnancy, also had the chance to meet the superfan. Harry made a beeline for Daphne after spotting her behind the red barriers and asked: "How are you? I'm going to get my wife to come over to say hello."
The pair were reunited in 2017 during a wet walkabout
"Oh my goodness, is this Daphne? I'm so happy to finally meet you. I've heard so much about you, all good things," said Meghan as she embraced the nonagenarian. Daphne congratulated the couple on their baby news, saying: "It's wonderful, the two of you. Congratulations, it's just what Harry needs. He will be a marvellous dad. He won't let anything stand in his way and he will be so gentle and loving."
Daphne was introduced to Meghan during the 2018 royal tour
The charismatic Prince even noticed Daphne's new hairstyle, asking her, "Have you dyed your hair a shade of pink?" to which she replied, "Yes." Daphne presented the royals with a bunch of flowers, and before parting, Meghan thanked her and said: "Hopefully next time we see you, we'll have a little one with us."
"Hopefully next time we see you, we'll have a little one with us," said Meghan
Speaking to AAP after their heartwarming encounter, the widower said of Meghan: "She said she had heard all about me, she's so beautiful." Daphne also appeared on the Today show and shared her excitement, saying: "I don't think he has changed very much but I probably have. Seeing my age is going up, up, up. He's a natural. He just loves what he's doing but seems to fit in with everything he says. I'm very happy for him. I'm glad he's got a wife now and soon a bubba."
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