Birthday greeting from Her Majesty

Sheila Houldsworth

Sheila Houldsworth

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THERE were no gun salutes when Sheila Houldsworth celebrated her birthday on Saturday – but there was a card from the Queen.

The Marton resident shares the special date, April 21, with her majesty and was ‘over the moon’ to find a Diamond Jubilee edition birthday card on her door mat.

Sheila, 75, of Newhouse Road, says she will now frame the card which portrays six images of Queen Elizabeth II over the last sixty years.

She said: “My mum told me when I was very young that I had a royal birthday and I was always very proud to share the date with our Queen.

“I always wanted to send a card but we didn’t have the money when I was a child so I just wished her happy birthday in my head instead.

“But in 1985 I decided to bite the bullet. I had recovered from breast cancer and thought ‘why not’, so I nipped out and bought a card.

“Since then I have sent her one every year with a letter and have always had one back, but this year it is extra special and the card is just beautiful - it was a lovely surprise.”

Sheila celebrated her birthday with family and friends at the New Douglas Hotel on Wellington Road – while the Queen spent the day at Windsor Castle.

But earlier this month the pensioner had a real birthday treat when she presented her majesty with a yellow rose.

She said: “I had been visiting my daughter in Manchester and when I heard the Queen was going to be in town, well that was it, I had to see her.

“We waited for hours for a glimpse and I finally saw her as she came out of the Town Hall in Albert Square.

“She walked up and down and was about to get in the car when a lady-in-waiting noticed I had a rose, so she guided her back in my direction and I handed her the flower.

“I had a lovely birthday at the weekend, probably not quite as regal as the Queen but I’m sure I had just as much fun.”

Sheila is looking forward to celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June.

She added: “I hope to go to London but wherever I am I will have a party, I’m sure.”