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Great-grandmother, 100, celebrates '25th birthday' on leap year

A great-grandmother who lived through World War II turns 100 today – but will also be celebrating her 25th leap year birthday.

Betty Morris, 100, from Buckhurst, Essex, was born on February 29th, meaning that it’s only the 25th time she will be able to raise a toast on her actual birthday.

While other 25-year-olds may be painting the town red tonight, the pensioner is set for a family party with her children, grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

But the former hairdresser, who retired in 1963, says she can still ‘give the youngsters a run for their money’.


Sharing her pearls of wisdom, she said: ‘It is ridiculous to think I’m 25, but I will still give the youngsters a run for their money. There are a lot of people out there who don’t look after themselves and self-respect is important to have a long and happy life.

‘I used to run and do high jump, I never said no to anything – I’ve always been game. I think that’s the secret to a long life.’

Betty married her late war hero husband Harry in 1940 after they met when she was a teenager.

The couple lived happily together until he passed away aged 86 in 2014.

Son Peter, 76, has joked that his mother is ’50 years younger than me’.

He said: ‘It is unreal that we will be celebrating her big birthday on Saturday, she’s so active – but she worries the life out of me to be honest.’

During a Leap Year, one extra day is added to the Gregorian calendar, meaning that there are 366 days in the year in total.

The extra day is crucial to ensure the calendar doesn’t go out of sync.

On 29 February, about five million people around the world celebrate their ‘real’ birthday.

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