Long may she reign.
The lady, Bessie Warhammer the IIIrd, 96, from Cleethorpes, was diagnosed with Hopkins' dysentery, an especially virulent and incurable form of the infection in 1952. Although it is not known at precisely what time Warhammer took to the brick shithouse in her back garden, it is believed her lengthy reign on the porcelain telephone has now broken the record previously set by Lady Victoria Price, who famously suffered so badly from incontinence that she walked around with a convenience strapped to her at all times.
Leading the messages of encouragement was prime minister David Cameron. Speaking in the Commons, he described Warhammer's long battle with the sewage system as "truly humbling". "Bessie has such a sense of selfless service that she thought today should just be an ordinary day. When so much else has changed, that one woman could have made the sacrifices she has, not seeing her children grow up, witnessing her house burn down and being unable to do anything about it as she was indisposed, refusing to lower the Warhammer standard when Princess Diana died, things we can hardly begin to imagine, on today of all days her honour must be recognised. Truly, her smallest room struggle has been the brown thread running through three post-war generations."
In one of her final acts as interim Labour leader, Harriet Harman added that it was "no exaggeration" to say Warhammer was "admired by dozens around the world". "Many of those people are still having to poo in a hole in the ground, and Bessie's story reminds them that they too can aspire to live in a toilet of their very own. The Labour party will do everything it can to help them achieve those dreams."
Speaking from the specially constructed bathroom in the nursing home where she now lives, Warhammer maintained the understated air she has become known for. "This was not a title to which I have ever aspired, but I thank everyone for their touching messages of great kindness. Now will someone please put me out of my fucking misery?"
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