Oldest twins have eyes set on 100th birthday

16.10.2020 - 13:07
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The oldest identical twins in Iceland, Svanhildur and Hlaðgerður Snæbjörndóttir, celebrated their 98th birthday together this week. No other Icelandic twins are both known to have reached that age—but the sisters say they already have their eyes on 100 years.

“This is so inconsequential: we’re only 98,” Svanhildur jokes. “I’ve already invited one lady to my hundredth birthday party!” 

Hlaðgerður and Svanhildur were among seven siblings born at Svartárkot in Bárðardalur, Suður-Þingeyjarsýsla (northeast Iceland). Hlaðgerður says she does not know exactly who to thank for her long life but that their sister, Árný, lived to 101. “My paternal grandmother lived to 93 and then there was Árný at 101, who died in 2016. She was very healthy until she reached 100 but then she got glaucoma, which was hard because she couldn’t read any more.” 

Hlaðgerður says she goes to the Múlabær day centre three times a week, and that while she has stopped handiwork due to poor eyesight, she listens to a lot of CDs and radio. “Now I am listening to the All Quiet on the Western Front audiobook. It is amazingly-well written.” 

The twins say that the pandemic has definitely taken a toll on their birthday celebrations, but that they managed to meet up with Svanhildur’s four children.  

The sisters will appear in a new series on twins being produced by Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir. The series will investigate what makes being a twin so unusual and special, from the start of pregnancy, to their often-special bonds, and their journey through life together. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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