– It’s been confirmed that Prince Harry’s biggest fan, Daphne Dunne, has passed away at the age of 99.
– The Duke of Sussex met his Australian super fan Daphne on numerous occasions during various royal trips Down Under, after they first struck up a heartwarming friendship back in 2015.
– Prince Harry and Daphne most recently came face to face again during his recent tour of Australia, when he was happy to introduce his special friend to wife Meghan Markle for the first time.
While it’s undoubtedly the happiest time of Prince Harry’s life, as he awaits the arrival of his first child with wife Meghan Markle, the Duke of Sussex has also been met with some sad news this week. It’s been confirmed that Harry’s longtime friend and proud biggest fan, Daphne Dunne, has passed away at the age of 99, just a few days after he and Meghan surprised her with a heartfelt birthday message.
Harry first met Daphne back in 2015, when the pair struck up an immediate friendship during one of his visits to Australia. As an Australian herself, Daphne was waiting in the Sydney Opera House crowds to catch a glimpse of the prince, while wearing her late husband Albert Chowne’s Second World War medals. From the moment the Duke of Sussex stopped to say hello to Daphne, they formed what she has since described as “a very special friendship.”
Related article: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Made Their Own Instagram Account
Since their first meeting four years ago, Harry and Daphne also met again in 2017 during his Invictus Games Sydney trip. “He kissed me on the other cheek this time,” Daphne recalled afterwards. Describing Harry as “warm and genuine”, she added: “He really is a lovely young man.”
Related article: Meghan Markle And Kate Middleton Have Been Victims To Online Threats
More recently, Harry and his 99-year-old BFF met for what turned out to be the final time in October of last year, during his first royal tour alongside wife, Meghan Markle. Daphne waited once again to meet her favorite royal pal, and to meet the Duchess of Sussex for the first time.
“Can I say congratulations?” Daphne asked Meghan, who had only recently announced her pregnancy. “It’s just marvelous. Just what Harry needs.”
Proving that Harry really did have a soft spot for the remarkable elderly woman, Meghan happily replied: “I’m so happy to finally meet you, I’ve heard so much about you.”
Just three days ago, making somewhat incredible timing, Daphne was surprised to receive a personal and heartfelt birthday card from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which read: “Dear Daphne, my wife and I send our warmest wishes to you on the occasion of your 99th birthday on Friday.”
On Tuesday, Daphne’s family took to Instagram to confirm the sad news that she had “passed away peacefully” on April 1.
Related article: We Probably Won’t See Any More Pictures Of A PregnantMeghan Markle
View this post on Instagram
It is with the saddest of hearts that I would like to share the news that our most beloved mum and nanna, Daphne Dunne, passed away peacefully yesterday morning. She was a truly special lady who will be greatly missed by so many. The simple act of stoping Daphne in the street and holding her hand meant more to Daphne than anyone could ever imagine. We, her family, would like to thank everyone for the love and support they showed Daphne. 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. It is fitting that Daphne passed away on the first of April as it is a month of renewal, remembrance and reunification with her loved ones that passed before her. We love you mum/nanna/Daphne, always and forever.
While Prince Harry and the royal family have not yet made any public mention of Daphne’s passing, it’s sure to be very sad news for both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to hear.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire