High Street gifts and greetings retailer Clintons says sales of cards designed for those in their 70s and above increased by 116% last year.
They expect more than 100,000 cards will be sold to those celebrating 90th, 95th and 100th birthdays in 2017.
Half a million people in the UK are aged 90 and above, with 14,570 of them centenarians – a 65% increase over the past decade. An estimated 1,000 are aged 105 and over, double the figure 2005.
It is estimated that there are currently 14 million grandparents in the UK, 1.5 million of whom are under 50 . A large proportion of this group will go on to be great-grandparents. The Queen sends around 2,000 cards to centenarians and people aged 105 and older each year, with a special team of staff in a Government department dedicated to the task.
Tim Fairs, VP of marketing at Clintons said: “Most people of my generation have no memory of their great-grandparents, yet today many play an active role in family life. It’s great that younger generations have access to the love, experience and history of their elderly relatives and it’s fascinating that demographics are shifting so rapidly.The Queen already has quite a task signing all those letters and cards each year.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, more cards are bought for senior mums than dads but twice the number of cards are sold to Husband than Wife over the age of 70, suggesting that women never lose the ability to remember those important occasions.
Currently, you can apply to get a free birthday or anniversary message from the Queen. This applies to all birthdays from the 105th onwards and every wedding anniversary following the 70th (Platinum) though some have complained at receiving the same card design each year. According to publicly available data, the Queen sends around 2,000 birthday messages to qualifying centenarians each year.