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British women

Updated on October 21, 2015
Britannia | Source

The women of Britain

The United Kingdom is a place of huge variety - and that includes its people too without doubt. There have been some truly remarkable women in our history. And after all, the lady you see depicted on the left is a personification of Britain - Britannia.

From the warrior Boudicca, who led her people in a rebellion against the Roman occupying forces to the women of today, we have a strong history of a series of pretty powerful females.

We also have (or had) some true characters, bizarre trailblazers and then of course, there's the weirdly eccentric.

Do you have any great articles that would suit this page? Just let me know and I'll include them.

The image of Britannia is from artwork by Tom Purvis and copyright-free via Wikimedia.

Let's start with Her Majesty

There are many British people today, myself included, who have only ever known one monarch. Want to know more about her?

Her Majesty the Queen
Her Majesty the Queen | Source

When the Queen was a young woman, she was a fashion icon who inspired British woman and their fashions - somewhat similar to the way in which Diana, Princess of Wales did during the 1980s and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, does today.

Find out more and see plenty of photographs

Find out more

Queen Elizabeth and Ronald Reagan
Queen Elizabeth and Ronald Reagan | Source

Did you know that the Queen was shot at when riding in a ceremonial procession?

All the horses were frightened by the shots but the Queen was the first to get her horse under control.

Follow the link below to learn more and see a video of the event.

Read more

Queen Elizabeth the Second
Queen Elizabeth the Second | Source

Interestingly, she is probably the only person in the world whose voice has been regularly recorded throughout her life.

This gives us the opportunity to see how her accent has changed over the years.

Watch - and listen - videos and read more.


Royals past and present

Because we have such a long history, this will be a growing list.

Zara Philips
Zara Philips | Source

Zara, the granddaughter of the Queen, is one of my favourite royals.

Not only that but she's extremely down to earth and an Olympic horsewoman.

Use the link below to find out more.

Read on

Princess Margaret, the
Princess Margaret, the | Source

Margaret Rose was the sister of the Queen.

She died in 2002 and I find that there are many people who have forgotten all about her.

And yet she had a scandalous life in her younger years and it seems a shame that she has largely been forgotten.


Sophie of Wessex
Sophie of Wessex | Source

Do you know who this is?

It's Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. She is the wife and the Queen's youngest son, Prince Edward.

She's rarely in the news, even though she's one of the hardest working of the family.

Click the link below to find out why this normally composed woman was reduced to tears on a visit.

Click for more

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother | Source

The Queen Mother - often referred to as the Queen Mum - was, as the title implies, the mother of Elizabeth and Margaret Rose.

She was a remarkable woman and much loved by her family and the nation.

However, Hitler believed her to be highly dangerous...

Discover more

Queen Elizabeth the First
Queen Elizabeth the First | Source

She was known as the virgin queen but I doubt that was an accurate description.

Did she have an affair with Robert Dudley?

And more importantly, did they conspire to murder his wife Amy?

Read on

Princess Louisa
Princess Louisa | Source

There has long been a theory that one of Queen Victoria's daughters gave birth to an illegitimate baby.

It's also thought that the queen knew all about it (I believe that she was a bit more human than lots of people think).

Read about it and made up your mind.

Read more

British women in history

Here's a great selection of women from the UK - some you will know and others that may be new to you.

Diana Mitford, Lady Mosley
Diana Mitford, Lady Mosley | Source

Another story about the scandalous Mitford sisters, this time Diana.

Her life is choc-a-bloc with scandal and notoriety. In the nineteen thirties she divorced her first husband for a married man who happened to be the leader of the British fascists, she was imprisoned during the war - oh, and she was a close friend of Adolf Hitler's...

Read more

Lady Hamilton
Lady Hamilton | Source

Have you heard of Lady Hamilton?

I had heard the name but I knew nothing about her.

A prostitute by thirteen years old, how did she become the most famous woman in Britain?

A truly fascinating story.

Find out more

Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher | Source

She was once the most powerful woman in the world.

What was it like growing up with Margaret Thatcher as a role model?

In my opinion, better than the role models than many young girls have these days.

Read on

Deborah Mitford, the Duchess of Devonshire
Deborah Mitford, the Duchess of Devonshire | Source

Deborah Mitford was one of the famous Mitford sisters who were the aristocratic darlings of society in the pre-war period.

As the youngest sister, she was often foreshadowed by her somewhat scandalous siblings (and scandalous is putting it mildly).

See the link below to find out more.

Click for more

Fanny Cradock
Fanny Cradock | Source

Fanny Cradock is one of my favourite eccentrics.

Ostensibly a celebrity chef (the first in Britain, really) she was also a determined bigamist who had some very bizarre habits.

Read more

Julia Stanley
Julia Stanley | Source

You may not know the face and her name - Julia Stanley - might be unfamiliar to you.

But, although she has been misrepresented in history, this is the story of who she was and who she affected.

Find out more

Ruth Ellis
Ruth Ellis | Source

Famous for the wrong reasons, Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain.

She had shot her lover in a crime of passion.

Her death was instrumental in the abolition of the death penalty in the UK.

Find out more

Thelma Furness
Thelma Furness | Source

The Prince of Wales was notorious for his affairs.

Some of his mistresses were better known than others.

This one was named Thelma (an unlikely name, I know) but she lost the prince to another, more well-known mistress.

Read more

Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter | Source

If you're like me, the name of Beatrix Potter is very familiar to you - but how much do you know about her?

I didn't know a thing until I read this fascinating article by DreyaB.

Don't miss the video.

Take a look

Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy | Source

Now this is actually a bit of a cheat because this woman wasn't actually British, although she married a member of the British aristocracy.

This is such a sad and tragic story.

But do you know who her brother was?

Clue - they were American.

Read more

Unity Mitford
Unity Mitford | Source

This is Unity, probably the most scandalous of the Mitford sisters.

She was close friend of Hitler's prior to the war and some say that she was his mistress.

The question is - did she, as many people believe, have his illegitimate child in England?

Read more

Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie | Source

Agatha Christie is known as the mystery writer.

But when she was a young woman, she was involved in mystery of her own.

She disappeared and for some time the police suspected that she had been murdered by her husband.

Why did she mysteriously vanish?

Click for more

Lady Diana Spencer
Lady Diana Spencer | Source

This is the story of Lady Diana Spencer and the hardly-known story of the illegitimate baby she had to conceal.

It's truly amazing what aristocracy could get away with in those days.

Click the link below to read the full and fascinating story of this deception.

Click for more

Ada Pumfrey (Jackson)
Ada Pumfrey (Jackson) | Source

Personal stories

It's highly unlikely that you recognise the lady pictured here.

She was a piano player working in a pub in an English seaport when she met what today we would call a 'travelling man'.

She left her husband and two children and ran off with him - luckily, or I wouldn't be here.

Read more

Lady Fairpools - the Mermaid of Mapplewell
Lady Fairpools - the Mermaid of Mapplewell | Source

This is the famous story of Lady Fairpools - a Yorkshire mermaid.

Oh yes.

If you'd like to know more about her, click the link but I'll warn you, her name is an anagram.

Read more

Further reading

Sixty Glorious Years: Our Queen Elizabeth II - Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012
Sixty Glorious Years: Our Queen Elizabeth II - Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012

Isn't it astonishing that the Queen has been on the throne for longer than many of us have been on the planet?This is a wonderful book that commemorates those years.

Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands: The Authorized Biography
Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands: The Authorized Biography

I am not going to write about my opinions regarding her politics but I can't deny that she was a strong lady.Nicknamed 'The Iron Lady' she authorized this account of her life.


Read more about a selection of British women

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Formerly Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.


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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @junecampbell: Thank you so much!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      What a wonderful collection of personable, strong and yes, eccentric women. Great lens.

    • DreyaB profile image


      4 years ago from France

      Wonderful British women - I speak for us too! ;0) I don't know if this is any good for you as it's a product review, but it covers her background and life, Beatrix Potter...? Looking forward to seeing what else appears on here over time. :0)

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 

      4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      As a Brit, I love that you have made a lens about interesting British women. :)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting article on British woman. I have been a great follower of the Queen all my life, but I never knew she was shot at. Thanks for sharing.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Coffee-Break: Thank you so much! The video of the incident clearly shows that the Queen was the first person to get her horse under control - amazing when you think that the other people in the procession were all soldiers, the Queen was fifty-five years of age AND she was riding side-saddle.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 

      4 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Great history lesson Jackie. I didn't know the Queen was shot at. I also found interesting your other lens about Queen's accent.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Merrci: Thanks for visiting! Hopefully, the page will grow with plenty of additional stories.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      What a fun page! I want to click on every link, so I've bookmarked it. It will be a great one to see what is added also. Thanks for putting it together!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Nancy Hardin: Thank you Nancy!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I went to read the Fanny Cradock story, but my computer is acting up today, so couldn't get it to load. I almost feel like I'm in England when you write about it, and I so thoroughly enjoy every moment of it. Going to go directly to the Fanny lens so maybe it will load. Thanks for sharing England so well.


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