Mary Rose life patron celebrates 90 years

JPNS-Ilse McKee 90th Birthday TRIO PIC IMAGE REP RMCK USE SMALL ONLY''**Ilse McKee 90th Birthday TRIO PIC -USE SMALL ONLY, if no alternative hasn't been sort, rmck has asked to book one with DK**''caption: Ilse shared the occasion with one of her grandson's, Ivan who is 30 and one of her grandaughters, Alexandra, who will be 2 years old next week.
JPNS-Ilse McKee 90th Birthday TRIO PIC IMAGE REP RMCK USE SMALL ONLY''**Ilse McKee 90th Birthday TRIO PIC -USE SMALL ONLY, if no alternative hasn't been sort, rmck has asked to book one with DK**''caption: Ilse shared the occasion with one of her grandson's, Ivan who is 30 and one of her grandaughters, Alexandra, who will be 2 years old next week.
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Ilse McKee, widow of the late Alexander McKee who discovered the Mary Rose, celebrated her 90th birthday with a party at the Seacourt Tennis Club, Hayling Island.

The life patron of the Mary Rose, who lives on Hayling, drank pink champagne with her friends and family.

Among those sharing her big day were grandson Ivan, 30, and her granddaughter Alexandra, two.

The club was packed as around 80 people attended Ilse’s birthday party, with some people travelling from as far away as Germany to celebrate the day.

Ilse’s husband, Alexander, became internationally famous for his discovery of King Henry VIII’s flagship in the Solent.

The ship had sunk in 1545 and Alexander, a keen military historian and diver, was awarded an OBE for his efforts to locate her. His book on the subject became a best-seller.

Ilse met her late husband while working for the British forces radio network in Hamburg in 1946.

Since leaving Germany as a refugee, Ilse has spent the rest of her life living in Hampshire.

With Alexander she had five children – Alexander, 63, Binky, 58, and Gabby, 53. Thomas and Monica have sadly passed away.

Ilse has seven grandchildren, with Binky and Gabby each having three children, while her son Alexander has Alexandra.

Alice McKee, Ilse’s daughter-in-law who is married to Alexander, says: ‘I think everyone enjoyed the evening, and Ilse said it was the best party she’d ever had in her life.’

Alice, who lives in Maybush, Southampton, adds: ‘She is such a generous woman, and she acts so young for her age.’