Harry and Meghan’s sadness after duke’s most devoted Australian fan dies aged 99
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
She had waited for hours in the rain to see him.
Harry gave her a similar welcome when they met in 2015 during his month-long attachment with the Australian Defence Force.
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.”