Prince Harry, Daphne Dunne, Sydney Visit 2017, Sydney Visit

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry has lost a beloved fan. 

The royal's longtime superfan Daphne Dunne died on Monday, BBC News reported, citing her family. "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," a statement shared to her purported Instagram account read. "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."

The statement continued, "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." 

Just days earlier, the Australian native and war widow had celebrated her 99th birthday in the hospital along with a message from the Duke of Sussex and his famous wife, Meghan Markle

"Today I celebrated my 99th birthday. I received a lovely message from Prince Harry and Meghan which really made my day," the Instagram account read. "I wanted to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday, it means a lot and has touched my heart."

Dunne quickly became a familiar face in the crowd when the dad-to-be visited Australia after first meeting in 2015. "The very first time our eyes met, I knew this was the start of something very special," Dunne said of the moment on Instagram.  

Prince Harry, Daphne Dunne

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

They crossed paths several times over the year, including notably in October 2018 when he and the Duchess of Sussex visited Sydney on their royal tour

During a walkabout outside the Sydney Opera House, Harry introduced Dunne to his pregnant wife and she reacted to the baby news that had just recently been announced, saying it was "marvelous" and "just what Harry needs."

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Daphne Dunne, Sydney Visit 2018, Sydney Visit

Samir Hussein/WireImage

"I'm so happy to finally meet you," Meghan added. "I've heard so much about you—all good things."

Dunne then said, "I think it's wonderful the two of you." 

At the time, Markle had noted, "Hopefully the next time we see you, we'll have our little with one with us." Unfortunately, Dunne passed away before the couple's first child could arrive. 

"The Duke and Duchess will write the family privately," a royal source told E! News. "They are both deeply saddened by the news and their thoughts go out to Daphne's family and friends at this time."

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