Prince Harry's Australian Superfan Dies at 99 Just Months After Meeting Meghan Markle

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Prince Harry is mourning the death of one of his biggest admirers.

On Monday, the Australian superfan of the royals, Daphne Dunne, died at 99. Daphne's family announced the news on Instagram where they called her "a truly special lady who will be greatly missed by so many," alongside a smiling photo of her.

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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

Just days before her death, Daphne took to Instagram to reveal that she "received a lovely message from Prince Harry and Meghan which really made my day" in honor of her 99th birthday, which she celebrated on Friday. 

"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," the letter read, according to People. "Congratulations on reaching this important and impressive milestone before your centenary year next year. Happy birthday, Daphne."

Daphne's Instagram account is full of photos of herself with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In separate posts, she called her friendship with Harry "very special," joked that he "still owes me a beer," and gushed that "the very first time our eyes met, I knew this was the start of something very special."

Daphne also had kind words for Meghan, writing that "she's just what the prince needs."

Daphne most recently spent time with Harry back in October, where she was introduced to Meghan Markle for the first time. The visit came just hours after Meghan announced her pregnancy, and followed 2015 and 2017 visits with the Duke of Sussex.

Prince Harry and Daphne Dunne

Prince Harry and Daphne Dunne in 2015

Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Daphne Dune and Prince Harry

Daphne Dunne and Prince Harry in 2017

Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Daphne Dunne in 2018

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"I was looking for you earlier and hoped you’d be here, it’s so good to see you again," Harry told Daphne outside the Sydney Opera House during the first day of the couple's royal tour to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in October 2018.

Meghan appeared thrilled to meet her husband’s biggest fan, holding Daphne's hands and telling her, "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." 

"Hopefully next time we’ll have our little one with us," Meghan added.

Daphne congratulated the couple on their baby news and handed them a card.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Meghan Markle
Getty Images

Daphne later told The Telegraph that "it was lovely to meet the Duchess, Meghan."

"Harry is a wonderful man and I’m so happy he had found happiness, they both deserved the absolute world together," she told the outlet. "I congratulated them on their baby and said I wished them all the happiness they deserve." 

A royal source tells People that Harry and Meghan are planning to write to Dunne’s family and are "deeply saddened by the news and they are thinking of Daphne’s family at this time."

Watch the video below for more on Meghan and Harry.

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