Jean shares 90th birthday with The Queen

Meet the Coleraine great great grandmother who shares her birthday with Her Majesty The Queen.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 5:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 6:15 pm
Coleraine woman Jean Nesbitt who will celebrate her 90th birthday this week, the same day as Her Majesty The Queen.
Coleraine woman Jean Nesbitt who will celebrate her 90th birthday this week, the same day as Her Majesty The Queen.

Jean Nesbitt will turn 90 this Thursday, April 21 - the same day as Queen Elizabeth with hit the marvellous milestone.

And, Jean revealed that her and the Monarch were born just four hours apart.

The bubbly Bushmills Road resident isn’t sure if she is older or younger that Queen Elizabeth, but she is thrilled to celebrate her special day with her.

“I remember someone telling me that we were born four hours apart, but I don’t know who was born first, you weren’t told things like that back in those days,” she explained.

Born in 1926, Jean was one of four children, her parents were William and Martha Cunningham of Mount Street in Coleraine.

Jean attended Irish Society Primary School, and left at the age of 14 to take up a post at a newsagents in the Diamond in Coleraine.

She had many jobs as a young woman, mostly in the retail sector.

She married the late Jack Nesbitt in 1949 and had three children, the late Joe, Jackie and Janice.

Living through the war, the pensioner recalls: “I worked in J and W Cameron grocers at Church Street at the time of the rationing.

“I was in charge of returning the ration slips to the office, it was tough for people, but you got through. People would have swapped their rations to help those less fortunate, it was hard but there were also many laughs.”

On her 80th birthday, Jean and other octogenarians in the Province were invited to a special garden party at Hillsborough Castle.

There she met Prince Charles and Camilla and was delighted to get speaking to the Royal couple: “There were so casual,” she said. “Prince Charles asked me if I had received a card from his Ma’ma,” she joked.

Despite hitting the tender age of 90, Jean has a hectic social life. She is heavily involved with her church, St Andrew’s in Coleraine and attends ‘Crafts with Love’ at West Bann: “I have a great time,” she told. “It’s good to get out amongst other people.”

Jean says that she is happiest when she is surrounded by her family.

“I have 8 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild,” she told proudly.

So what’s the secret to a long life, well, according to Jean it’s ‘living a clean life’: “I don’t drink nor smoke”, she joked. “And I cook good wholesome food.”

We wish Jean a very happy 90th birthday!