War widow Daphne Dunne who stole hearts across Australia when she met Prince Harry for the third time during last year’s royal tour has died days after her 99th birthday.
Ms Dunne’s family confirmed she passed away peacefully on Monday after battling pneumonia in hospital for almost two months.
“She could not have brought more joy to our lives, despite all the hardship she endured during her lifetime,” the statement said.
“In her most recent years, it has been our absolute honour and pleasure to see her bring so much joy to people from all walks of life and from countries of the world.
“Her engagement at the Invictus Games and her most special meeting with HRH Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan has brought her so much joy, as they have done to others who watched on.”
The family said she loved to share her happiness and stories with those around her.
Ms Dunne lost her first husband Lieutenant Albert Chowne just a year after their marriage in 1945.
He was the recipient of both the Victoria Cross and Military Medal.
“She has never lost her love for Albert and has honoured his service to country, both as a widow and as a member of the Australian Woman’s Army herself,” the statement said.
“She will be missed by so many but none more than her daughter, grandchildren, close friends and special little dog, Meeko. We love you Daphne, forever and always.”
The Duke of Sussex recognised Ms Dunne during his walkabout at the Opera House last October and she asked him for a kiss before he continued the tour.
“Hopefully next time we’re with you we’ll have our little one with us,” Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle told Ms Dunne at the time.
Daphne receives last message from Prince Harry
Ms Dunne received a letter from Prince Harry and Markle for her 99th birthday last week.
“We hope that you have a wonderful celebration surrounded by family and friends, and that you’ve managed to escape hospital,” the letter said.
Ms Dunn wrote on her Instagram account the “lovely” message made her day.
“I wanted to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday, it means a lot and has touched my heart,” she wrote on Saturday.
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