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Wednesday, October 6, 1999 Published at 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK


Queen 89th in power list

The British state figurehead is considered less powerful than...

TV personalities Carol Vorderman and Dawn French are more influential than the Queen, according to a new list of Britain's top 100 women.

Her Majesty came just 89th in the list compiled by Good Housekeeping magazine.

[ image: ...Elisabeth Murdoch, the most powerful woman in the UK...]
...Elisabeth Murdoch, the most powerful woman in the UK...
She was one place above TV cook Delia Smith, but behind Channel 4 star Ms Vorderman (72nd) and comic Ms French (82nd).

The list is topped by Elisabeth Murdoch, the 31-year-old daughter of media baron Rupert Murdoch, who is managing director of satellite television company Sky Networks.

Labour women are well-represented in the list, with Lords Leader Baroness Jay second, and Education and Employment Minister Baroness Blackstone third.

Prime Minister's wife Cherie Booth is seventh, Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam eighth and Commons Leader Margaret Beckett ninth.

[ image:  ]
Other women making it into the top 10 are Pearson Group chief executive Marjorie Scardino (fourth), Stagecoach co-founder Ann Gloag (fifth), Lambeth Council chief executive Heather Rabbatts (sixth) and deputy general secretary of the TGWU Margaret Prosser (10th).

The list was compiled with the help of social psychologist Dr Terry Hall, who ranked leading women in the fields of business, the arts, the media and politics.

They were evaluated under criteria which took into account their power and influence, global acknowledgment, media access, importance of message, expertise, status in workplace, earnings and uniqueness of position.

[ image: ...comedian Dawn French...]
...comedian Dawn French...
Six PR specialists made it into the top 100, including Chancellor Gordon Brown's fiancee Sarah Macaulay (23rd) and the Countess of Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones (93rd).

Commons Speaker Betty Boothroyd is 18th on the list, one place above Harriet Harman.

Despite losing her Cabinet job, she remains highly placed by virtue of her seat on Labour's National Executive Committee and personal friendship with the Blairs.

Newspaper editors Janet Street-Porter, who recently took over at the Independent on Sunday, and Rosie Boycott, who heads The Express, are also highly placed, in 24th and 26th positions respectively.

[ image: ...and Janet Street-Porter]
...and Janet Street-Porter
Tory leader William Hague's wife Ffion is 63rd on the list, with Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe 77th and former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher just making it into the top 100 in 95th place.

Editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping Lindsay Nicholson said: "This research is a fascinating portrait of the power generation of women in Britain.

"Ten, even five years ago, such a list would have told a very different story.

"The new Millennium is being ushered in to the sound of glass ceilings shattering all across the country."

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