The Queen offers 100th birthday congratulations to former dinner lady

Elsie Staines celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

Elsie Staines celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends. - Credit: Archant

Her Majesty the Queen congratulated a former dinner lady who celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday (Wednesday).

Elsie Staines enjoyed her big day surrounded by family, friends and a birthday cake at her home in The Close, Hatfield Heath.

Well-wishers flooded her with cards – along with the Queen, who sent a traditional ‘Happy Birthday’ greetings.

Elsie, a resident of Uttlesford District Council’s sheltered housing scheme, said: “I have had a wonderful day and very much enjoyed the celebrations.” She puts her longevity down to hard work and clean living.

Sheltered housing officer Heather Duncan said: “I wish Elsie all the best for a very happy birthday. She’s such a special lady, she’s always smiling, rarely complains and can always find an amusing comment for people!”

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Elsie has been a resident at The Close since 1993, having moved to sheltered housing after her husband died.

She has four children – two girls and two boy – and too many grandchildren and great grandchildren to count!

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The centurion used to work in the canteen of two primary schools, Hatfield Heath and Hallingbury, and finished her working life cooking for the men of the local slaughterhouse.

During the celebrations, which included a special lunch, Elsie embraced modern technology when she spoke to her son via Skype. He was unable to make the party from Lincolnshire.

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