Jarrow great-grandmother celebrates 90th birthday on the same day as the Queen

90 year old Jean Smith celebrates her birthday with family at Calf Close House, Jarrow.
90 year old Jean Smith celebrates her birthday with family at Calf Close House, Jarrow.
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A South Tyneside great-grandmother was a given a Royal celebration as she turned 90 on the same as HRH The Queen enjoyed her official birthday.

Calf Close House resident Joan Smith was joined by members of her family who had travelled in some cases from across the world to Jarrow to mark the special occasion.

It’s been absolutely wonderful to have all of my family here with me.

Joan Smith

Mum to Miriam King, Leslie Smith and June Elliott, Joan had a crown and throne made for her in honour of the day.

As well as the family gathering at Calf Close House, residents also held an evening party for Joan.

“I’ve had a marvellous day,” Joan told the Gazette.

“It’s been absolutely wonderful to have all of my family here with me.

“Some have come from China, Holland and Scotland to be here.

“It’s great that I’m celebrating on the same day as the Queen to. I think she’s great.”

As well as her three children, Joan is a grandmother-of-six and a great-grandmother-of-seven.

Joan was sadly left a widow in 1957, when her husband and father to her children Colin died.

“My mam was born in South Shields but has lived in Jarrow all of her life,” said Miriam, 66.

“She was widowed at 31 when my dad died but she didn’t remarry.

“We wouldn’t say she’s sprightly but mentally she very sharp.

“She’s still interested in political programmes and always has her say.”

Miriam added that her mum was determined to mark reaching the milestone with a fun event.

“When the Queen was deciding when to have her official birthday, mam had already organised hers.

“She’s been revelling in it.

“Her oldest brother has come from Essex, a cousin has come from Scotland and my son who lives in Beijing has come with his wife and her parents too.

“It’s been brilliant.”