Alice meets a special VIP

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ONE of Calderdale’s oldest residents Alice Wynne has met a special VIP.

The Rastrick woman is celebrating her 108th birthday today but back in May, Alice was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen and other Royal family members as part of her forthcoming birthday celebrations.

Alice said: “I met Prince Philip who asked if I was the 107-year-old and said he was trying to catch me up and Kate Middleton who said she was proud to have met me. I told her she had a fancy hat on and she said just like me.

I went out to buy my outfit so that I could look nice.”

Among them was Prince Charles and his wife Camilla and Mayor of Calderdale, Coun John Hardy, who Alice was extremely excited to meet.

Her two day venture also included a trip on The Thames and ice cream at South Bank.

Alice worked on a fruit and veg stall on Halifax market and also in a woollen mill. She had a sister and two brothers and was a captain in the Girl Guides.

She went on to marry her sweetheart Thomas Wynne who lived a few doors down from her Claremount home. They had a son Tony, who died aged 47, while her husband passed away when she was 82.

Other family members have kept in contact. Her niece-in-law, Doreen Wynne, visits as did her late nephew Terence, and their children visit too.

Alice has lived at Lands House, Rastrick, since she was 99. She remembers when the Titanic sunk in April 1912,when she was just seven-years-old and how she used to go dancing. She still goes to the pantomime in Halifax every year.

“Nobody lives so long in my family,” she said. “Today will be just like any other day for me. If people told me they had lived as long as me I wouldn’t believe them.”

The home will be having a party for Alice today.

Owner Georgina Copley said the visit to Buckingham Palace was thanks to Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker.

“It was absolutely wonderful and everybody was just so lovely,” she said. “After meeting her, Prince Charles told her to go and get a well deserved cup of tea and it was lovely to see Kate Middleton. She knelt down in front of her and held her hand while speaking to her, I had a lump in my throat.”