A great-grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday with 40 family members including her latest great grandchild born almost exactly a century after her.

Among the many well-wishers on Joyce Howard's special day on February 19 were royalty, with King Charles and Queen Camilla sending a card with a message of congratulations.

Mrs Howard’s daughter Jill said: “She was very thrilled and was photographed with the card, and her 11th great grandchild who was born on January 30, so almost 100 years apart!"

Oxford Mail: Joyce and family at her 100th birthday party

Mrs Howard and her late husband Pete have three daughters, eight grandchildren and 11 great grand children.

They wed at St Michael in The North Gate Church on Oxford's Cornmarket in 1947.

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They were married for 66 years before Pete, an RAF engineer, died in August 2014 at the age of 91. 

In the 1970s Mrs Howard ran a sweet shop and cream tea restaurant in Woodstock called The Blenheim and the family lived in the town for 10 years.

Ten years ago she wrote a book, My Story, in which she recorded her wartime experience when she supported the war effort by becoming a firewoman in Oxford.

Oxford Mail: Joyce and Pete Howard

The book also told how before marrying Pete she was engaged to a New Zealander who was shot down over France during the war. 

Joyce’s daughter Jill said: “The whole crew were killed and mum has been back there several times and they treat her like a film star, it’s lovely.”

Mrs Howard, who still lives completely independently in Horspath, celebrated her milestone birthday a party with her family in Wheatley followed by a day with her two daughters.

Jill said: “If you asked my mum what is the secret of a long life she would say a happy marriage.”