Prime minister’s wife from Diss celebrates 100th birthday

Former Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson, in his robes as a Knight of the Garter, and Lady Mary Wilso

Former Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson, in his robes as a Knight of the Garter, and Lady Mary Wilson, waiting for their car on the steps of the Queen's Free Chapel of St George at Windsor Castle after attending the Most Nobel Order of the Garter ceremony.Date: 18 Jun 1979Source: Library

A Diss-born woman who was married to Labour prime minister Harold Wilson is celebrating her 100th birthday today.

Lady Wilson of Rievaulx was born Mary Baldwin and raised in Diss and married her husband on New Year's Day 1940.

After marrying in 1940 Mr and Mrs Wilson had two children, Robin and Giles.

Mr Wilson was Labour prime minister between 1964 and 1970 and then 1974 and 1976.

He died on May 23, 1995 aged 79.

The couple's time at 10 Downing Street was satirised by Private Eye, which published an imaginary diary called Mrs Wilson's Diary, which chronicled the events in Mr Wilson's life from his wife's down to earth perspective.

The couple also enjoyed holidays in Isles of Scilly and Mr Wilson is buried there.

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As Prime Minister Harold Wilson enacted social reforms in education, health, housing, gender equality, price controls, pensions, provisions for disabled people and child poverty.

On 16 March 1976, 5 days after his 60th birthday, he stunned the nation when he announced his intention to resign, a decision that he claimed he had made two years previously.

James Callaghan succeeded him as prime minister.

Mrs Wilson's father was Reverend Daniel Baldwin, who was a Congregationalist minister.

She was a poet and had a book of her work was published in 1970 called Mary Wilson - Selected Poems.

The writer and poet Sir John Betjeman, who filmed a series in Diss in 1963, dedicated the poem A Mind's Journey To Diss to Mrs Wilson.

Lady Wilson of Rievaulx lives in London.