Daphne Dunne died Monday at age 99 after a battle with pneumonia, but who was the Australian super fan of Prince Harry?
Dunne advocated tirelessly for the memory of Austrailain veterans of war, and was appreciative of Prince Harry’s work with veterans. She charmed Prince Harry after they first met in 2015. At age 98 in 2018, Dunne met Harry for the third time when he also introduced her to his new wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
When the prince greeted her like an old friend, she said Meghan was “just what Harry needs,” reports CNN.
The Australian Veteran was Prince Harry’s “Biggest fan”
Dunne met Prince Harry, who she admired for his work with veterans, in 2015. It was then she gave him a kiss on the cheek, and in 2017 she met him again after waiting in the rain to meet him outside first the Admiralty House then Circular Quay (and offer him a beer, which he declined).
“The Prince hugged Dunne and said, ‘Oh, it’s you,'” reports The Sun.
“He gave me a hug and a kiss and said it was great to see me,” Dunne said.
Dunne would then wait to greet Harry each time he visited Sydney.
When Meghan Markle met Dunne in 2018, she said, “I’m so happy to finally meet you, I’ve heard so much about you.”
The Duchess added these were “all good things” and looked forward to bringing their first child, due this month, to meet Dunne.
The Royal and wife Meghan sent Dunne a letter for her 99th birthday just days before her death. It read:
Dear Daphne, my wife and I send our warmest wishes to you on the occasion of your 99th birthday on Friday.
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.
Harry and Meghan
Dunne died April 1 after battling pneumonia.
Remembering the Lives of Australian Veterans
Dunne was married to Albert Chowne, who died at age 25 a year after their wedding. He was attacked by the Japanese in Papua New Guinea and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
”I am proud for him but it doesn’t make up for everything,” Dunne told the Sydney Morning Herald in September 1945. ”I would rather he had remained just ordinary and was alive. He was a wonderful man and a grand husband. I have no plans for the future. It is all dead to me now.”
“It was over a decade before Mrs. Dunne remarried. Her second husband, Corporal John Dunne, also possessed uncommon reserves of courage and endurance. A member of the 2/29 Australian Infantry Battalion, he was captured in Malaya in 1942 and endured the horrors of Changi,” reports The Canberra Times.
“You survive; you’ve got no choice,” she told Fairfax Media 70 years on. With Dunne, Daphne had lived to become a mother and a grandmother.
“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.