Prince Harry’s ‘biggest fan’ has died
THE 99-year-old who won the heart of Prince Harry on several royal tours of Australia has died.
Daphne Dunne had been in hospital suffering from pneumonia for two months when she passed away on Monday.
Ms Dunne called herself Prince Harry's "biggest fan" when he visited Australia. On several occasions the Prince would stop to chat to his elderly supporter, crouching down to reach Ms Dunne who was in a wheelchair.
In a post on her Instagram account, her family said she was a "truly special lady" who would be greatly missed.
"The simple act of stopping Daphne in the street and holding her hand meant more to Daphne than anyone could ever imagine.
"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.
"We, her family, would like to thank everyone for the love and support they showed Daphne."
Just days ago, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent the war widow a letter congratulating her on her milestone.
"Dear Daphne, my wife and I send our warmest wishes to you on the occasion of your 99th birthday on Friday," the royal wrote to his well-known devotee.
"We hope you have a wonderful celebration surrounded by family and friends and that you've managed to escape hospital!
"Congratulations on reaching this important and impressive milestone before your centenary year next year.
It was signed simply "Harry and Meghan".
Talking to Today in late March, Ms Dunne's daughter Michelle Haywood said the Prince's letter had really lifted her mother's spirits.
"Meghan and Harry have gotten mum through this terrible illness she's had. She's still very unwell and I think, you know, if anything, the card they sent means so much," she said.
Ms Dunne first met the Prince in 2015 when she cheekily stole a kiss from the heir to the Australian throne.
When he visited Sydney again in 2017, she camped outside Admiralty House with just a brolley and an Esky of beer - but she missed her chance.
Unperturbed she moved locations, down to Circular Quay. As the drizzle came down she was rewarded with another meeting with her favourite Windsor.
"Oh, it's you," the Prince said as he hugged Ms Dunne.
She told Sunrise she loved Harry for his work with veterans.
"He does a lot for everyone but he seems to dote on soldiers that have been wounded, and they've had some part of them amputated, that's the reason, it doesn't matter about me, he helps make them feel a bit better," reported The Daily Telegraph.
Ms Dunne was out in force to greet Prince Harry on each of his visits to Australia. She had catchups at least three times.
When the Duke of Sussex made his royal visit to Australia with wife Meghan Markle last year, Harry was sure to introduce the pair.
According to Ms Dunne, the Duchess told her: "I'm so happy to finally meet you, I've heard so much about you."
After a brief chat, the Duchess apparently told Ms Dunne: "Hopefully the next time we see you we'll have our little one with us".
Ms Dunne's first husband Lieutenant Albert Chowne died aged 25 in 1945, just a year after the pair wed, when his machinegun post in Papua New Guinea was attacked by the Japanese.
She married again, to Corporal John Dunne, who was captured in Malaya in 1942.