A woman living in Wellesley Road care home in London has celebrated her 100th birthday with a party.

Mary Anne Pellegrinetti, also known as Maria, was joined by residents and staff for the celebrations, which included sweet treats and listening to classical music.

Born and raised on Pond Street in Hampstead, Maria worked as a cook for many years at the B.P. Café with her family. She spent the entire Second World War in Italy with her family, as they had travelled there on holiday in 1939 and were unable to return.

She later discovered a talent for painting and was successful in selling many of her pictures.

Maria was a breast cancer survivor in her forties having detected the illness herself and encouraged the doctor to take a second look, which she insists saved her life. She believes this questioning attitude, alongside her Mediterranean diet, is the key to her long life.

The manager of Wellesley Road, Abiodun Ojo -  which is owned by Camden Council and operated by Shaw healthcare - said: “We’ve loved being able to get together and celebrate Maria’s birthday.

“Thanks to the easing of Covid restrictions earlier this year, we’ve been able to give her the celebration she deserves, opening her card from the Queen and enjoying a party with her family.”

100th Birthday Wellesley Road Maria