Queen’s Jubilee: is Greater Manchester gran Jean the royals’ biggest superfan?
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A royal superfan who celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s coronation as a teen will mark the jubilee in a union flag outfit - surrounded by her mountains of memorabilia.
Jean Topping, 88, says she is “so excited” to watch the monarch reach her regal milestone after she first raised a toast to the newly coronated queen aged just 17.
The grandmother began collecting royal souvenirs, including cups and statues, following Elizabeth’s crowning - and even has a ring embossed with Charles and Camilla’s faces.
Jean, who has 10 grandkids, remembers the coronation event feeling like a “festival”, with people dancing and clapping in the streets of Wigan.
And although the widow plans to celebrate the jubilee in a more relaxed fashion, she says the upcoming event will be a “special moment” for her and her family.
She said: “I’m so excited now we’re coming up to the jubilee.
“We were all thrilled when Elizabeth came to the throne. It was marvellous. It was beautiful. We were all clapping our hands and everything.
“So it will be a special moment for me to see the queen reach this new milestone.”
Jean explained that she was overjoyed when Elizabeth ascended to the throne 70 years ago, becoming the first female monarch since Queen Victoria.
She said: “It was really nice to know that princess Elizabeth was going to be Queen. It was like a festival.
“The war had only just ended in the 40s – and this was in 1952.”
On the date of the Queen’s coronation, Jean said her neighbours decorated the streets of wigan with reams bunting, before sharing drinks and food on long wooden tables.
She said: “People hadn’t got much, but I had some really good neighbours.
“They all helped one another in those little streets, in those terraced houses.
“They had flags out and bunting out and everything. All the tables were in the middle of the road, on the cobbles, and all the kids sat around them.
“I have a photo of my future mother-in-law in front of our little terraced house with a cake on it – and she’s giving us food.
“We had little sandwiches. We had lemonade and little fairy cakes and sausage rolls. It was a good day.”
Jean said this experience ignited her passion for the royal family, and she has gone on to become an avid collector of all things royal.
She said: “I have all the cups, and I even have a ring, a replica, with Prince Charles and Camilla on it.
“I also have a limited-edition statue of the Queen Mother.”
Jean says she now plans to celebrate the jubilee by waving flags with her family - as well as by wearing her signature union flag outfit.
She said: “I very often where my union flag outfit, and I have a very close family, so we’ll definitely all want to be together.”