Crawley woman receives card from King Charles on her 100th birthday after ‘she had assumed she wouldn't receive one’
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Siftan Bibi Khan was born in 1923 in pre-partition India in what is now Pakistan’s side of Kashmir. She was married at 16 and widowed after one year. She then married the younger brother of her first husband and had one son. Sadly, she was widowed again after 3 years. Siftan then remarried and had three children but lost one just after the baby girl turned three months.
She moved to the UK in 1970 and worked at Maynards (confectionery makers) for 10 years and then retired. She was pensioned off at this point.
A spokesperson from her family said: “Thankfully, all her functions are back except her speech, which is impaired. She’s still mobile with her Zimmer frame and her mental faculties are completely intact.”
On the secrets to her long life, a spokesperson from her family said: “Back in Kashmir, she kept 2 buffaloes for milk and butter. She also grew all her own vegetables and when she moved to the UK, she kept her own vegetable patch too and managed it daily, cooking all sorts of delicious and nutritious vegetable curries, until the day of her stroke. Siftan has always worn a woolly hat under her headscarf and often used to tell her grandchildren that keeping her head warm would keep her free from getting sick!”
Siftan has always been very fond of meat, particularly poultry and since her stroke, has developed a massive sweet tooth. She enjoys a bowl of sugar with her breakfast every morning.
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On receiving a letter from King Charles, a spokesperson from the family said: “She was absolutely thrilled. As we handed her the thick and creamy envelope, her eyes lit up - she knew exactly what it was before we'd even had a chance to explain. For the last 10 years, she's been talking about turning 100 and has always asked about receiving the letter. When she heard about the Queen's passing, she had assumed she wouldn't receive one now. When she opened the card, she looked slightly disappointed and when asked why, she’s responded ‘they didn’t put any money in”