It’s a double anniversary thrill

Emily Verity  with her granddaughter Larraine Smith
Emily Verity with her granddaughter Larraine Smith
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Military Wives singer Larraine Smith sang at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert and then dashed to her grandma’s 100th birthday celebrations.

Emma Verity, of Belle Vue Rise, Shelf, celebrated her milestone today (Wednesday) and watched her granddaughter perform for the Queen on the TV on Monday night.

Larraine (nee Longden) said performing for the Queen in front of hundreds of thousands packed around Buckingham Palace was an absolutely amazing experience.

She had to audition to win a place on the stage and loved every minute.

“I had the time of my life and it was like a dream with so many faces and so many people you only usually see on TV,” she said.

Larraine, 49, saw the Queen close-up and said she looked serene.

“And, considering her worries over the Duke of Edinburgh I think she was very stoic and put her duties to the country first and got on with it.”

Lorraine also mixed with the stars shaking hands with the likes of Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Peter Kaye.

The choir sang Sing written by Gary Barlow and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber from the commemorative jubilee album and it has already stormed to No 1 in the album charts.

Lorraine is a member of the original choir from Plymouth which had a Christmas No 1 hit with “Wherever You Are” and there are now 40 Military Wives Choirs.

She worked as a barmaid in Shelf at the Shoulder of Mutton and Prince of Orange and now lives in Plymouth. She is married to Brandon Smith, a major in the Royal Artillery.

Emma was born in Rotherham and worked in textile mills as a spinner.

She was married to her late husband, Arthur, and she has two children, Maureen and Arthur, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

She enjoys spending time with friends and family and still lives independently.

Walking has been a life-long love and she still keeps fit by walking.

The Queen sent her a birthday card and Emma said it was a thrill to see the jubilee concert on TV.

“I thought the choir was very good,” she said.

Friends and family attended an open house at her home to mark her centenary.