During a coffee morning earlier this year, residents and colleagues at Hinton Grange in Cambridge were discussing the street party they were planning to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday on 21st April. When one resident wondered whether The Queen might come along, home manager, Linda Martinez, thought ‘there’s only one way to find out’. Linda wrote to Her Majesty to invite her.
“I’ve written to members of the Royal Family before and always got a reply,” says Linda. “So when we saw a letter in the mail with a Windsor Castle stamp on it we got very excited!” The letter, from Susan Hussey, The Queen’s lady-in-waiting, said, ‘Her Majesty was touched to hear about the indoors street party you are holding to celebrate her ninetieth birthday… and hopes all of those attending… will have a very happy day.’ “We quickly copied and laminated the letter and displayed it throughout the home,” says Linda. “Some residents even asked for their own copies so they could share it with their families.
“On the morning of the Queen’s birthday, the residents watched a film about The Queen and we talked about her afterwards. They all spoke about her with admiration, and one gentleman referred to her as ‘stunning’. Due to the weather we had to hold the street party indoors, but we still had a lovely time. Residents and staff had made festive bunting and flags for the occasion. The majority of the food was at residents’ request, including finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, pork pies, crisps, scotch eggs, sherry trifle, cupcakes and chocolate birthday cake. We also had musical entertainment from one of our favourite local performers, Mike Richardson, who sung songs from the 1950s through to the 1970s. Quite a few of us joined in!"
“Here at Hinton Grange we have one resident who was 90 earlier this year, and 13 who are older than The Queen. Their secrets to living to such a good age? To be happy, to not get stressed – and one lady says it’s ‘to give and receive a kiss and a hug every day!’” says Linda with a smile.