A LUCKY lady who is looked after at a Colchester care home was "absolutely overwhelmed" after receiving 100 cards for her very special 100th birthday.

Iris Bell, who lives at Welshwood Manor, in Welshwood Park Road, celebrated an entire century of life last Thursday.

Surrounded by workers, fellow residents and loved ones, Iris enjoyed a huge party with local singer Penny Tall entertaining the crowd with songs from her era.

Ahead of the marking the amazing milestone, carers at the home worked hard to ensure Iris received 100 cards from kind members of the public on her special day. 

Amazingly, their efforts paid off, with Iris spending a large part of her big day opening a staggering 100 letters and cards, including one from his majesty King Charles III. 

Gazette: Milestone - Iris, who turned 100 years old last weekMilestone - Iris, who turned 100 years old last week (Image: Public)

A carer at Welshwood Manor said: "Iris was absolutely overwhelmed by the response and kindness from everyone who sent a card.

"Iris was especially taken aback when she opened her card from the King."

Ahead of her birthday, Royal Mail agreed to keep all letters addressed to Iris at its sorting office before dropping them off at the care home all in one go.

The carer continued: "I would like to say a big thank you to Cath at Royal Mail East Gates for arranging the delivery of Iris’ Birthday cards by hand."

Gazette: Pleased - Iris with her letter from the KingPleased - Iris with her letter from the King (Image: Welshwood Manor)

Iris was born in Colchester and has lived in the city all her life, before moving into Welshwood Manor care home nine years ago. 

Another worker at the home said: "She is a complete joy to look after as she is always so happy. 

"Iris is very independent as she has only just recently stopped making her own bed."

Iris turned 100 just months after a fellow Essex woman marked her 103rd birthday with her family before sharing the secret to a long and happy life.

Dorothy Juniper celebrated her birthday with an afternoon tea party at Weald Hall Care Home in November last year.

Speaking at the time she said: “Without a doubt, one of my top tips for living a happy life is love and having a wonderful husband, as well as a happy life together."