Sharing birthday with Her Majesty is an honour

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Sixty-three years ago Coleraine woman Jean Nesbitt joined the thousands in Coleraine who turned out for a glimpse of Her Majesty during her Coronation tour of Northern Ireland.

“I was along the railway line with my two boys Joe and Jackie,” recalled Jean who shares the same birthday as The Queen and turned 90 this year.

She was 27 that day in 1953 and last Tuesday she was thrilled to be invited onto the platform at Coleraine Railway Station to see Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh board a steam train for Bellarena.

It was a thrilling moment for lovely Jean and her daughter Janice and one-year-old granddaughter Amy.

“I didn’ t realise I’d get up so close to see her,” gasped Jean, who lives just a stone’s throw away from the railway station at Bushmills Road. Like Her Majesty, Jean was born in April 21, 1926 and went on to have three children with her husband Jackie, who passed away in 1980.

She said proudly: “I have 11 grandchildren, three great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

“I have lived in Coleraine all my life and I went to Irish Society School and was in the retail business.”

She revealed that she had been at a number of functions to mark her 90th birthday.

“We had a family meal in the Bushtown Hotel and there was 54 there, all of my family and my dearest friends.

“The Queen is just a lovely lady, even from when she was a child.

“We have lots of mementoes of her growing up, going to school and becoming Queen. It’s lovely to be here.”