Members of the British royal family must see everything. Members of the public ranging from star-struck to mentally unhinged must pop up on their radar all the time.
I imagine that it must get tiring for them to have to shake hands with so many day after day. In fact, meeting a normal, well-adjusted individual has to be a downright relief.
Perhaps that’s part of the reason why Prince Harry has made a very special friend in Australia. And perhaps that’s why the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a very special promise to that very special friend during a recent trip to the Land Down Under.
That friend isn’t some young ingenue or politically connected public servant. Rather, it’s a 98-year-old widow named Daphne Dunne.
When Harry arrived in Australia in 2015, he spotted the wheelchair-bound Dunne amongst the lines of well-wishers who thronged the streets. Her age and infirmity didn’t catch his eye so much as the medal she wore on her coat.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 16, 2018
It was a Victoria Cross, the highest military honor that Britain can bestow. According to The Sunday Times, it had been awarded posthumously to Dunne’s late husband for his bravery.
Lieutenant Albert Chowne had perished during World War II at just 25 years old. In 1945, he’d led a charge on a Japanese machine gun fortification in New Guinea, dying during the attack.
Dunne recalled she and Prince Harry “were chatting for a little while, and then they kept saying to him, ‘We’ve got to go. We’ve got to go.’ He didn’t worry about that.
“He just continued on with what he was doing, which was talking to me, and then when he started to go, he gave me a kiss on the cheek.” That kiss won the hearts of Australians en masse and won Harry a lifelong fan.
Come rain or shine, Dunne has shown up to meet Harry every time he has arrived in Australia. She was there this time when the Prince arrived with his newly pregnant wife.
Entertainment Tonight reported that when Harry found her, he said, “I was looking for you earlier and hoped you’d be here. It’s so good to see you again.”
Meghan offered her own welcome, saying, “I’m so happy to finally meet you. I’ve heard so much about you.
“All good things! Enjoy the rest of the day.”
Dunne said she was thrilled to have met the prince’s new wife, adding, “She’s so beautiful. I wished them well with the baby on the way and said this is what Harry has been waiting for for so long.”
Dunne may get to meet even more of Harry’s family in the future. As Meghan was leaving, she left Dunne with a sweet promise, saying, “Hopefully next time we see you we’ll have a little one with us!”
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