Leonora Noel, known as Masima, is a great-great-grandmother who lives in a hut made of straw cut from the bush and held together with cow dung. She was born in 1902 when Edward VII was on the throne.
When she turned 114 and became one of the oldest women in the world, she received a special telegram from someone she never thought she would hear from personally – the Queen!
For the first time in her long life, Leonora Noel gets a birthday card from the 90-year-old monarch.
The first card sent from Buckingham Palace went missing in the post, reports Express. A replacement is on its way via the office of the Governor General of Grenada in the West Indies, where the super-centenarian lives quietly on an outlying island.
A royal aide said: “In a year in which we have celebrated Her Majesty’s longevity it’s remarkable to think that, when the Queen was born, Masima was already 24 years old.”
What surprises many is that Masima takes care of herself and apparently she is stronger and in better health than her 83-year-old daughter, who lives with her.
But what does this 114-year-old do? Apart from help around her home, she enjoys a good appetite and takes occasional trips in a neighbour’s car to the local town.
Her hearing is not as good as it has been but she can happily sing the song she learned as a schoolgirl more than a century ago.
Masima spends most days sitting on the lino floor beside her open door watching her chickens roam around outside her simple wooden house which sits on a rural hillside overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Recently she climbed a flight of stone steps to meet her first great-great-grandchild, a baby girl named Sarah.
But life has not always been easy. When she was seven years old, Masima’s mother died and she was raised by aunts. She lived with them in a hut made of straw cut from the bush and held together with cow dung.
She’s lived through two world wars and frequent hurricanes and as a young woman she earned money by breaking stones into rubble used to build roads on the small island.
Granada became an independent in 1974 but still remains part of the British Commonwealth.
There are only four people older than Masima in the world with the oldest, a 116-year-old woman who lives in Italy.