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Harry and Meghan’s sadness after duke’s most devoted Australian fan dies aged 99

Daphne Dunne had a special bond with Harry after meeting him three times in Sydney.

The Duke of Sussex with Daphne Dunne during a walkabout outside the Sydney Opera House (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)
The Duke of Sussex with Daphne Dunne during a walkabout outside the Sydney Opera House (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been left deeply saddened after Harry’s most devoted Australian fan died at the age of 99.

Harry and Meghan are to write privately to the family of war widow Daphne Dunne to express their condolences.

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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.

A post shared by Daphne Dunne (@daphne_dunne) on

The couple’s thoughts are said to be with Mrs Dunne’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Mrs Dunne had been in hospital with pneumonia for two months before dying just days after turning 99, 7News said.

She met Harry three times during his visits to Sydney over the years and recently received a letter from the duke and duchess congratulating her on her birthday.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet 98-year-old Daphne Dunne during a walkabout outside the Sydney Opera House (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

In October, Mrs Dunne greeted Harry outside the Sydney Opera House on the first day of his tour Down Under.

The duke proudly introduced Meghan, whose pregnancy had just been announced, to his oldest Australian admirer.

After finding the nonagenarian in the crowd of around 2,000 people, the duke: “I was looking for you earlier and hoped you’d be here. It’s so good to see you again.”

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Harry proudly introduced Meghan to Daphne Dunne during their visit to Sydney (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Meghan told Mrs Dunne, who saw Harry during his 2015 and 2017 visits: “I’m so glad I got to meet you.

“Harry has told me all about you and your special bond, it’s so lovely you came to see us, thank you.”

Mrs Dunne, who congratulated the couple on their baby news, touched Harry’s cheek fondly as he put his arm around her.

She said: “It was lovely to meet the duchess, Meghan. Harry is a wonderful man and I’m so happy he had found happiness. They both deserve the absolute world together.”

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Daphne Dunne described Harry as ‘a wonderful man’ (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Mrs Dunne’s first husband, Lieutenant Albert Chowne, died aged 25 in 1945 during an attack on a Japanese machine gun post in Papua New Guinea.

He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, which Mrs Dunne was wearing when she first met Harry.

In 2017, the duke left Mrs Dunne a little flushed after he gave her a peck on the cheek.

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The Duke of Sussex had a special bond with Australian fan Daphne Dunne (Steve Parsons/PA)

She had waited for hours in the rain to see him.

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The pair embrace in Sydney in 2017 (Steve Parsons/PA)

Harry gave her a similar welcome when they met in 2015 during his month-long attachment with the Australian Defence Force.

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Harry meeting Daphne Dunne in Sydney in 2015 while he was on a month-long attachment with the Australian Defence Force (Angus Dunsire/PA)

She said in 2017: “He kissed me on the other cheek this time. 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.”

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