Before Meghan and Harry's recent tour, Daphne Dunne met the prince twice — first in 2015, when she planted a kiss on his cheek, and again in 2017

By Stephanie Petit
March 29, 2019 09:59 AM
Advertisement

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are busy preparing for their next big role – as first-time parents! – but they didn’t forget one of their biggest fans on her special day.

Daphne Dunne always makes sure to greet Harry when he visits Australia – and during the royal couple’s tour this past October, the prince got to introduce Dunne to his new wife outside of the Sydney Opera House.

Dunne turned 99 on Friday – and received a surprise message from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to mark the occasion.

Australia’s Today Show broke the exciting news to Dunne, who didn’t expect to hear from the royal. “He wouldn’t even think of it,” she said.

However, a friend sent Harry an email to let him know that Dunne’s 99th birthday was approaching – and the royal replied overnight with a personal message to his devoted fan.

On a letter topped with Harry and Meghan’s joint monogram, the message read: “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. Congratulations on reaching this important and impressive milestone before your centenary year next year. Happy birthday, Daphne.”

The note was signed, “Best wishes, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”

Credit: Samir Hussein / WireImage
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Daphne Dunne
| Credit: Samir Hussein / WireImage

Dunne, a war widow who always wears her late husband’s military medals when she sees Harry, met the royal dad-to-be twice before his latest visit to Sydney. They first crossed paths in 2015, when Dunne memorably planted a kiss on Harry’s cheek!

Prince Harry and Daphne Dunne in 2015
| Credit: Dean Lewins - Pool/Getty
Prince Harry and Daphne Dunne in 2015
| Credit: Dean Lewins - Pool/Getty

She braved the rain to greet Harry again in 2017, when he visited Australia to promote the Invictus Games taking place there the following year.

    • Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Prince Harry and Daphne Dunne in 2017
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

During their most recent meet-up, the couple chatted with Dunne as she caressed Harry’s face and held Meghan’s hand.

“Congratulations, I think that’s marvelous,” Dunne told Meghan of the couple’s baby news, which had been announced earlier that day. “It’s just what Harry needs.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Sydney
| Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage

“It’s fantastic,” Meghan added. “I’m so happy to finally meet you. I’ve heard so much about you. All good things.”

“I think it’s wonderful, the two of you,” Daphne said before giving the couple some cards and flowers.

“Enjoy the rest of the day,” Meghan said. “Hopefully next time we see you, we’ll have a little one with us!”