DURING her lifetime Kit Kilburn has lived through two world wars and the reign of five English monarchs.

Today the great grandmother celebrates her 100th birthday and is eagerly anticipating her card from the Queen.

Born and brought up in Surrey, Kit moved to Swindon in 1980 to be close to her son Peter, 76, after her husband died.

She now lives in sheltered accommodation in Salzgitter Court, Toothill, where she will be having a party to mark the day.

After the celebration around 30 friends and family members, including her two grandsons and six great grandchildren, are joining Kit for a birthday lunch.

During both world wars Kit worked in an aeroplane factory in Kingston and after that as a ticket seller at Hampton Court Palace.

Her job brought her into close quarters with the royal family. She said: "I used to see the Queen sometimes and the Queen Mother.

"The Princess Royal and Prince Charles would come down when they had their events.

"I worked there until I was 73 and then I had to leave because they said everyone over 65 had to retire. I would have carried on working there otherwise."

Kit thinks the secret to longevity is a healthy life style.

She said: "I have had a good life. I have never smoked or drank, I kept to the lemonade and orange squash.

"You just keep going. I would like to be able to walk better but apart from that I'm fine.

"The children of today are quite different from when I was a child. They seem to enjoy themselves more.

"My parents were quite strict. We couldn't go to nightclubs like they do today."