The family of a woman who has just died and was believed to be the world’s oldest person cannot verify her claim because she has no birth certificate.
Sant Kaur Bajwa died in Southall, West London, aged 115 years and 199 days old, according to her family, who say she was born on January 1, 1898 in Pakistan.
If she was born in 1898, she has lived across three centuries and witnessed massive changes in technology and social attitudes.
When she was a baby, the First World War was more than a decade away and the Wright Brothers were yet to make their first aeroplane flight.
The oldest surviving person still alive as verified by the Guinness Book of Records is Misao Okawa, of Japan, who is 115 years and four months old.
World’s oldest people
The oldest verified surviving person in Britain is Grace Jones, who is 113 years old.
The world’s oldest man is Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez, 112, who took on the mantle when Jiroemon Kimura died in June 2013, aged 116 years old.
Blazquez emigrated to New York in 1920 from his home in Spain.
The oldest man in Britain is 110-year-old Ralph Tarrant, who celebrated his birthday in June.
The world’s oldest people put their longevity down to different reasons.
Blazquez’s daughter says he is a ‘stubborn and arrogant’ man who swears his old age is because he eats a banana and takes six Anadin tablets every day.
Bajwa’s family cite her diet of fresh fruit and vegetables and her Sikh faith as the main reasons for her longevity.
Whereas Ralph Tarrant said: “Don’t live life too carefully. I smoked until I was 70 and still enjoy a drink.”
How long will Prince George live?
And what lifespan can the new royal Prince George expect?
The UK’s Office of National Statistics expects the Prince to live and rule until the second or third decade of the 22nd century.
The latest longevity figures suggest a third of babies born in 2013 will live to celebrate their 100th birthday.
A 65-year-old British man retiring in 2013 can expect to live until he is 77 years old, while a woman is likely to survive him by three years to see her 81st birthday.
Scientists explain improving longevity as a mix of a healthier diet and better healthcare.
Whereas the highest life expectancy is 83.7 years in Japan, many countries have a much lower expectation – the worst is in Sierra Leone, where the average age of death is just 48 years old.