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Daphne Dunne at launch of Victoria Cross book

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Daphne Dunne holding a photo of her and her husband on their wedding day

Daphne Dunne (Photo: Claire Hunter).

Daphne Dunne captured the hearts of millions when she met Prince Harry at the Sydney Opera House in 2015.

They greeted each other like old friends when they were reunited in 2017, and again in 2018 when Prince Harry introduced Daphne to his wife, the Duchess of Sussex.

But behind the heart-warming pictures of the 98-year-old war widow and the 34-year-old prince is a story of love, loss, and courage dating back to the Second World War.

Daphne’s first husband, Lieutenant Albert Chowne VC, was killed fighting the Japanese in New Guinea in March 1945, and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his “conspicuous bravery … and devotion to duty”.

She was wearing a replica of his Victoria Cross when she met Prince Harry, and it was the medal which first captured the prince’s attention. The original is on display in the Hall of Valour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and is a constant reminder of a much-loved husband and his sacrifice during the war.

‘Oh, he was lovely,’ Daphne said during a visit to the Memorial. ‘He was a good-looking man … and he was a real good mixer, but we didn’t have very long ... we were only married for 12 months … but that’s war. I still love him.’

Daphne was attending the launch of For Valour: Australians awarded the Victoria Cross by Memorial Curator Craig Blanch and Senior Historian Dr Aaron Pegram.

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