A war widow considered to be Prince Harry’s loyal fan has died three days after receiving a birthday card from her favourite royal.
Ms Daphne Dunne passed away surrounded by her family on Tuesday. Australian media announced the news and revealed she passed away days after her 99th birthday after battling pneumonia.
Alex Hart, the reporter for Australian outlet Seven News, tweeted on Monday: “Sad news today… Daphne Dunne passed away yesterday after battling pneumonia. She was a wonderful woman who was a delight to be with.
“Thank you for putting a smile on so many faces Daphne. RIP”
On Friday she celebrated her 99th birthday and received a card from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who couldn’t head to Australia to deliver the letter in person.
The letter reads: “Dear Daphne, My wife and I send our warmest wishes to you on the occasion of your 99th birthday on Friday.
“We hope that you have a wonderful celebration surrounded by family and friends and that you’ve managed to escape the hospital.
“Congratulations on reaching this important and impressive milestone before your centenary year next year. Happy birthday, Daphne.
“Best wishes, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
Harry and Daphne’s friendship began in 2015 when he stopped to talk with her as he was on a walkabout near the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Daphne was wearing her late husband Albert Chowne’s medals, which caught Harry’s eye. At that time 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, they reunited when Harry “appeared to immediately recognise Daphne and embraced her”, as ABC News reported.
And then again in October 2018, during Harry and Meghan’s royal tour, Harry introduced his fan to his pregnant wife Meghan.
“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 lady.
Holding Meghan’s hand, Daphne congratulated them on their baby news: “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.”
She presented the couple 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.”