Centenarian misses out on Queen’s card

A great-grandmother excited about getting her card from the Queen after hitting 100 died on the morning of her landmark birthday – missing the postman by six hours.

Staunch royalist Clara Asquith, who remarkably was born on February 20, 1913 and died on February 20, 2013, died at dawn, missing the precious lunchtime delivery.

Her daughter, Maureen Hepplestone, 79, said her mum had been in failing health but had wanted to live to reach 100 and receive the card from the Queen.

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Mrs Hepplestone said: “My mother wanted to reach her 100th birthday but also wanted to see the card from the Queen, which would have meant so much.

“It is sad she died just a few hours before the card arrived and never saw it.

“She died at about dawn and the mail came at midday.

“She was looking forward to it and talked about it and would have been disappointed that she never got to see it. She had gone downhill the final week.

“My mother had a very long life and it is amazing to think she lived through two world wars and so many prime ministers. She must have seen so much.

“She just used to say I’ll live to be 100 and to get my letter from the Queen, but she didn’t go on about it.

“My mother was a staunch royalist and used to write letters to the Queen Mother about all sorts.

“It’s a shame she never got to see her letter but I am going to frame it.”

A farmer’s daughter from Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, she was married to Herbert Henry Asquith, who died on the eve of his 70th birthday. The pair met at a local skating rink and he worked for the family meat business.

The great-great-grandmother was a committed Christian and worshipped at St Peter’s Parish Church in Huddersfield for most of her life.