A WOMAN who lived through the Second World War, the Queen’s coronation, and the moon landing has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Kathleen Steanes, born on 19 July 1919, celebrated her centenary with a tea party at Downlands Nursing Home in Hove, attended by friends and family, the Mayor of Brighton and a sombrero-wearing Mariachi singer.

Kathleen said: “I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t think anyone would turn up.”

Born one of seven children to poor parents in Birmingham, Kathleen moved to Brighton in 1949 when her husband was demobilised from the army after the Second World War.

She worked packing jewellery at a shop in the Lanes. At first, she lived in a small terraced house on Dyke Road, but after someone in her building contracted tuberculosis, Kathleen was allocated a spot at one of the country’s first council housing estates, in Coldean.

Following her husband’s death, Kathleen travelled around Australia with her niece, visiting her sister Marjorie and her family down under.

Marjorie, now 94, is one of Kath’s two living siblings, and friends have arranged for Kath’s other sister, 91-year old Eileen from Birmingham, to make a surprise visit.

Friend of 50 years Veronica Larocque said Kath has a zest for life.

“She loves being around people,” Veronica said. “She’s so outgoing and she’ll join in with anything. It’s a formidable age. But she doesn’t think anything of it – she just gets on with it.”

Kathleen received a birthday card with a golden tassel and a royal greeting from the Queen, who is 7 years her junior.

Nursing home manager Grace Mwai explained that Downlands typically sees one person celebrate their 100th birthday each year. The oldest resident she remembers was 103, and did not speak English – so staff learnt basic Portuguese to make her feel at home.

Grace said: “It makes us so proud to celebrate Kath’s 100th birthday here. We always say Downlands is like a family.

“Kath is registered blind and hard of hearing but that doesn’t stop her participating in activities.

“She loves music, baking, going outdoors, and winning at bingo.

“Residents go to the garden centre, the farm, and the aquarium, and even have the chance to try out cheese tasting. Kath is really happy here.”

Asked what a hundred years on earth has taught her, Kathleen gave this advice: “enjoy life to the full.”