Australian war widow and Prince Harry superfan Daphne Dunne has died just a week after her 99th birthday. The vivacious woman captured the heart of the prince on several royal tours, even calling herself Harry’s “biggest fan” during his most recent tour of Australia.
Dunne had been in the hospital suffering from pneumonia for two months, and died surrounded by her family. She had hoped her health would prevail and she would live to reach her 100th birthday, as well as witness the birth of Harry and Meghan’s royal baby.
Dunne had received a touching letter from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on her 99th birthday just days before her passing, congratulating her on reaching such an incredible milestone.
“Dear Daphne, my wife and I send our warmest wishes to you on the occasion of your 99th birthday on Friday,” the card read. “We hope you have a wonderful celebration surrounded by family and friends. Congratulations on reaching this important and impressive milestone before your centenary year next year. Happy Birthday Daphne. Best wishes, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
During Harry and Meghan’s royal tour in Australia last year, the father-to-be got the chance to introduce his new bride to Daphne. The couple shared an adorable moment together, with the pair both crouching down to reach Daphne in her wheelchair.
Harry and Daphne met in 2015 during a trip to Australia, and the nation swooned when he kissed her on the cheek. Two years later in 2017, during Harry’s whirlwind tour to launch the Invictus Games in Sydney, 97-year-old Daphne dutifully camped out again for seven hours to be reunited with the royal.
“He does a lot for everyone, but he seems to dote on soldiers that have been wounded, and [have] had some part of them amputated. That’s the reason; it doesn’t matter about me, he helps make them feel a bit better,” she explained to Sunrise. Clearly touched, Prince Harry remembered Daphne and remarked, “Oh, it’s you!” before swooping in to embrace her.
Daphne’s daughter revealed that her mother’s love for the royal family had helped buoy her spirits when illness left her feeling down. “Meghan and Harry have gotten mom through this terrible illness she’s had,” she said on the Today Show on Friday. “I think the card they’ve sent means so much.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.