To celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we have selected 5 inspirational women from royalty or heads of state whose work we admire. We honour the impact made by these ladies past and present and all that they continue to do.
Diana, Princess of Wales will forever be remembered for her sense of humour, style, immense benevolence, and philanthropic work. Working tirelessly for charities around the world, Diana used her platform to raise awareness of various humanitarian issues. Known as the ‘people’s Princess” Diana showed the nation that royalty could be in touch with the public and during her visits to hospitals and schools would spend hours listening to people’s stories. Possibly one of her most memorable feats was her commitment to changing the world's view on HIV and AIDS when speculation around the virus was rife. The iconic image of Diana shaking hands with an HIV-positive patient truly rocked the boat and challenged the stigma surrounding the virus. Diana worked for over 100 charities and led campaigns for a ban on landmines, leprosy awareness, homelessness, childhood illnesses, and the list goes on. Diana was an inspiration to millions of men and women and will always be remembered as a fiercely strong and compassionate woman.
Queen Rania Al Abdullah
Queen Rania is a style icon, women’s rights activist, and humanitarian. Queen Rania seeks to shed light on the challenges faced by not only Arab women, but women around the world and the importance of equality between men and women. On top of these universal challenges Queen Rania campaigns for Arab women who face unemployment or forced displacement due to civil war and armed conflict. She has promoted the creation of child abuse counselling centres and fought to end honour killings as well as pushing for education reform. All this whilst being a very hands-on mother to her four children and other Queen duties, Queen Rania is truly a modern-day woman.
Queen Rania once said, “lift one woman up, and she will lift up others, who lift up more and urges people to reach over borders and boundaries and pull up women weighed down by hurdles.”
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
America’s most glamorous and admired First Lady, Jackie Kennedy Onassis was the embodiment of opulence in the 1960s. After JFK became president in 1960, Jackie was the youngest First Lady at age 31 but was far from a figure in her husband’s shadow. Jackie reinvented the White House, charmed heads of states and dignitaries with her cultured intelligence. President de Gaulle even went as far as to say JFK was “the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.”. In 1963 Jackie sadly became an integral part of one of America’s most traumatic events in history when her husband JFK was assassinated beside her. After passing away in 1994 Jackie is remembered as one of the greatest First Ladies of America, for her intelligence, elegance, and beauty.
Ameerah Al-Taweel is a former Saudi Arabian princess and philanthropist supporting numerous humanitarian interests in Saudia Arabia and internationally/ After her divorce from Prince Alwaleed bin Tala in 2008, Ameerah hoped to be a role model for young women and show that despite divorce she is still an independent woman doing something good for her country. Over the years, Ameerah has worked closely with numbers NGO’s and is an outspoken advocate for women’s civil rights and empowerment, including the right for women to drive in Saudia Arabia, access to equal inheritance and custody of children. Ameerah is now a chairwoman of volunteer network Tasamy which empowers social entrepreneurs to create sustainable projects.
Despite being a member of the royal family for just shy of a year, Meghan’s commitment to philanthropy and female empowerment is clear. Prior to her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan pledged to “shine a light” on female empowerment, stressing that women need to feel empowered to use their voice and people need to be encouraged to listen. This is something which Meghan has very much stuck to and continues to advocate for women's rights and equality between men and women. Her iconic speech last October about women’s suffrage in New Zealand showed her commitment to the topic and the importance of equality for women. Meghan Markle will be spending this International Women’s Day speaking on a panel at King’s College joined by a host of powerful women including the founder of Let Us Learn campaign and executive director of Campaign for Female Education. The women will be discussing the importance of International Woman’s Day and the obstacles faced by women around the world including education and employment.