Queen’s birthday: Two women with very different lives celebrate their 90th year
- Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
Being born in the same year isn’t the only thing Rose Gibbons and the Queen, who turns 90 today, have in common.
Rose, from Stratford, also married in the same year as Her Majesty – in 1947 – to a man the same age as Prince Philip.
But while the Queen enjoyed a honeymoon on the Broadlands estate in Hampshire after her wedding, things were different for Rose and her husband John, a steel erector.
“We went to Southend for the day when we got married,” said Rose. “It took us three hours to get to Shenfield and then we had to get on another train to Southend.
“We got married on the Friday and he was back to work on the Sunday, he travelled round the country for his job you see.”
You may also want to watch:
While her majesty has travelled the world in a public life devoted to royal duties, life for Rose has been more low key.
Rose was born in Martin Street, Stratford, in January 1926, where she lived with her parents Emily and Bertie and siblings. Her family ran a florist business and owned a stall on the Broadway.
- 1 Car abandoned after triple shooting and stabbing at Forest Gate barber
- 2 Halal butcher's aiming to be 'Harrods of meat industry' opens in Stratford
- 3 Parking space row sees police called and woman left feeling 'vulnerable'
- 4 14 charged with alleged drug dealing and money laundering offences
- 5 Forest Gate townhouses scoop RIBA's Neave Brown award for 'affordable' housing
- 6 'Simply horrifying': Newham MPs react after stabbing of Sir David Amess
- 7 Plan to transform Royal Docks into 'world-leading' cultural hub unveiled
- 8 Beckton man due to be sentenced for sexual assault of young girl
- 9 CCTV image released after rape reported in Forest Gate
- 10 Man in critical condition after triple shooting in Newham
After marrying John she had a daughter, Eileen, and today is also a grandmother to Gregory who lives in Australia.
Before her marriage Rose left school at 13 and helped on the family stall. After her brother took on the running of the stall she worked in catering at Queen Mary’s and Newham General hospitals.
Visits from the Queen and Princess Diana saw her cross paths with the royal family.
“When the Queen came to visit we weren’t allowed to talk to her, she just walked past,” remembered Rose. “When Diana came she spoke to us and said it was nice to be here.
“Diana came up the stairs and said ‘it’s a long way to walk up here you must be exhausted before you start work’. She was charming and spoke to us all. She said ‘this is a nice hospital’ and I said ‘we’ve only just started’.”
Rose moved into Barchester Care Home in Forest Gate four years ago. She has never wanted to leave the area, even if things have changed considerably.
“I like the people, the people are nice,” she said. “When I worked on the stall I talked to the people and you got to know them. Stratford was like a little town then.”