99-year-old dubbed Prince Harry's 'biggest fan' dies

Ms Daphne Dunne had been photographed multiple times greeting Prince Harry on rope lines, including last October on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.
Ms Daphne Dunne had been photographed multiple times greeting Prince Harry on rope lines, including last October on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - A 99-year-old Australian war widow known as the "biggest fan" of Britain's Prince Harry has died after a bout of pneumonia, her family said on Tuesday (April 2).

In a statement posted on Instagram, Ms Daphne Dunne's family said she had passed away peacefully at a hospital in Sydney on Monday, just days after turning 99.

Over the years, Ms Dunne had been photographed multiple times greeting the Duke of Sussex on rope lines, including last October on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

"The simple act of stopping Daphne in the street and holding her hand meant more... than anyone could ever imagine," her family said.

"We, her family, would like to thank everyone for the love and support they showed Daphne."

Ms Dunne received a message from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan for her birthday just last week, which she said had "really made my day".

"Well I'm not out of hospital, but the letter has certainly made me feel better," she had told 7NEWS.

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.

Prince Harry first met Ms Dunne in 2015 when he noticed her husband's war medals pinned to her chest.

Duchess Meghan is due to give birth to the couple's first child later this spring.