Famous British Women

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Prim, reserved and pretty, British women have since long been envied by their counterparts in other countries for their natural grace and beauty. British women are naturally blessed with a quiet dignity and seriousness about them that adds to their charm. The British society was primarily patriarchic up until a few centuries ago and for a long time the men has tried to control the womenfolk and attempted to thwart their efforts to rise above their situation. But the gutsy British woman is not someone who would give up her freedom so easily! Boudicca, a warrior queen of the ancient Iceni tribe led a war against the Romans who had dared to violate her family proving how fierce British women can become when the need arises. Coming to more recent times, the feisty Margaret Thatcher upholds the same ideals her fiery ancient counterpart stood for.

Vote for Your Favourite British Women
 1 
Queen Elizabeth II
(Former Queen of the United Kingdom)
Queen Elizabeth II
180
Birthdate: April 21, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mayfair, London, England
Died: September 8, 2022

The Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning British monarch in history. The first child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , she ascended to the throne in 1952. Despite the media criticism of the royal family, she continued to be a popular figure in the UK.

 2 
Emma Watson
(Actress and Activist Best Known for Her Role of 'Hermione Granger' in the 'Harry Potter' Film Series)
Emma Watson
185
Birthdate: April 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

English actress, model, and activist, Emma Watson first gained prominence as a child artiste in the Harry Potter film series. The daughter of lawyers, she was determined to go to college despite her busy acting career and graduated from Brown University. A staunch feminist, she is actively involved with organizations that work for the betterment of women.

 3 
Dua Lipa
(Singer-Songwriter)
Dua Lipa
200
Birthdate: August 22, 1995
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

At fourteen, singer Dua Lipa began her career by posting covers of famous songs on YouTube. She soon signed a contract with Warner Music Group and shot into fame with the release of her eponymous chart topping debut album. Since then, she has released her critically acclaimed second album, bagged two Grammys and created history at 2018 BRIT Awards.

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 4 
Adele
(One of the Best-Selling Music Artists Known for Her Multi-Platinum Certified Albums '19' and '21')
Adele
151
Birthdate: May 5, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

Adele is one of the most successful female music artists from England. She is one of the best-selling music artists in the world, having sold over 120 million records. The recipient of numerous awards, Adele also holds several Guinness World Records. In 2012 and 2016, she was named in Time magazine's list of most influential people in the world.

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 5 
Emilia Clarke
(Actress)
Emilia Clarke
97
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

Emilia Clarke rose to fame with the television series Game of Thrones, which garnered her international recognition and won her several awards. She has also starred in many films like Solo: A Star Wars Story and was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. Emilia also supports several charitable organisations. 

 6 
Queen Victoria
(Queen of the United Kingdom (1837-1901))
Queen Victoria
117
Birthdate: May 24, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kensington Palace, London, England
Died: January 22, 1901

The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for over six decades, Queen Victoria reigned for longer than any of her predecessors. Her rule witnessed the vast expansion of the British Empire and ushered in a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were celebrated with great pomp and show.

 7 
Emily Blunt
(One of the Highest-Paid Actresses in the World in 2020)
Emily Blunt
86
Birthdate: February 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Often featured among the ‘Sexiest’ and ‘Most Desirable’ women in the world, this British-born actress is a Hollywood A-lister and sex-symbol who first captured everyone’s attention with her scene-stealing appearance in the Meryl Streep starrer The Devil Wears Prada. Emily Blunt has since tasted both commercial and critical success, and is married with kids to The Office actor, John Krasinski.
 8 
Audrey Hepburn
66
Birthdate: May 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium
Died: January 20, 1993

British actress Audrey Hepburn is counted among the greatest female screen legends in Golden Age Hollywood. Rising to prominence in the 1950s, she became one of the few people to win Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards. She devoted much of her time in her later life to UNICEF and was actively involved in humanitarian work.

 9 
Kate Winslet
(Actress)
Kate Winslet
80
Birthdate: October 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reading, England

Actress Kate Winslet’s most enduring character remains that of the protagonist in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, which made her an international star. She’s also known for doing period roles in films like Sense and Sensibility, Jude and Hamlet. Some of her other notable films are Iris, Little Children, Steve Jobs and The Reader. She won an Oscar for her performance in The Reader

 10 
J. K. Rowling
(Author of Children's Fantasy Series, 'Harry Potter')
J. K. Rowling
171
Birthdate: July 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yate, England

JK Rowling’s story is that of rags-to-riches. She is the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, which have sold more than 500 million copies and is the best-selling book series in history. She also writes crime fiction albeit under a pen name. Rowling supports many charities and has founded Lumos, an international NGO, working for children.

 11 
Amy Jade Winehouse
(Known for Her Deep, Expressive Contralto Vocals and Her Eclectic Mix of Musical Genres)
Amy Jade Winehouse
79
Birthdate: September 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Enfield, London, England
Died: July 23, 2011
Soul and jazz singer Amy Winehouse is best remembered for her tracks Stronger Than Me and Rehab. She was the first British female to win five Grammys. Following her death due to alcohol poisoning at age 27, her album Back to Black became U.K.’s best-selling album of the 21st century.
 12 
Keira Knightley
48
Birthdate: March 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Teddington, England

British actress Keira Knightley’s career took a huge turn, when she appeared in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace and Bend It Like Beckham, while she was still in her teens. Since then, she has displayed her talent in numerous period and big budget movie including Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Pride and Prejudice and Imitation Game.

 13 
Helena Bonham Carter
65
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Islington, London, England

Helena Bonham Carter is an English actress who is known for her performances in independent films and huge blockbusters. Some of her notable films are The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech, Hamlet, Howards End, Fight Club, Les Misérables . She was also part of the Harry Potter series. She was bestowed with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.

 14 
Kate Beckinsale
62
Birthdate: July 26, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

Kate Beckinsale is an English actress and model and has worked in films such as Pearl Harbor, Serendipity, The Aviator, Contraband and Total Recall and received critical acclaim for her performance in the film Love and Friendship. She has also worked in various stage and radio productions. The British Heart Foundation is one of the charities that she promotes.

 15 
Rachel Weisz
(British Actress Known for Her Films: 'The Mummy', 'The Constant Gardener' and 'The Favourite')
Rachel Weisz
43
Birthdate: March 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England

One of the most popular and decorated British-American actresses, Rachel Weisz is the recipient of many awards, such as the Academy Award. One of the most beautiful actresses, she has been featured on several magazine covers. In 2010, Rachel Weisz was named the global ambassador for L'Oréal. She has also served as fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez's muse.

 16 
Cara Delevingne
(Model, Actress)
Cara Delevingne
90
Birthdate: August 12, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

English actress Cara Delevingne is known for films like Paper Towns, Suicide Squad, Tulip Fever and London Fields. She’s also a very successful fashion model and has been the face of some of the top brands in the world like Burberry, H&M, Zara and Chanel. She has also walked down the catwalk as a model at many prestigious fashion shows.

 17 
Elizabeth Taylor
(One of the Best Actresses of Classic Hollywood Cinema)
Elizabeth Taylor
34
Birthdate: February 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: March 23, 2011

Considered an incandescent beauty, Elizabeth Taylor was a very popular and successful actor and her legacy is an everlasting one. She shone in movies like A Place in the Sun, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Butterfield 8 in the 1950s and 60s. Recipient of two Oscars, she married eight times.

 18 
Julie Andrews
(Actress)
Julie Andrews
40
Birthdate: October 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Walton-on-Thames, England

A distinguished films, television and Broadway actress, Julie Andrews is best known for her performances in films like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Victor/Victoria. She has also done voiceovers for animation movie like Despicable Me and Enchanted. The legendary actress has also released multiple albums and authored numerous children’s books as well as her autobiography.

 19 
Olivia Newton-John
(One of the Best-selling Artists, Who Starred in the Musical 'Grease')
Olivia Newton-John
69
Birthdate: September 26, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cambridge, England, US
Died: August 8, 2022

Olivia Newton-John's breathy voice and stunning beauty made her one of the biggest pop stars of the 1970s. She charmed generations of movie viewers in the blockbuster film Grease. Following a string of country and soft-rock hits, Newton-John starred opposite John Travolta in the 1978  blockbuster Grease, considered as one the most popular movie musicals of all time.

 20 
Emma Thompson
(Only Person to Win Academy Awards for Both Acting & Writing)
Emma Thompson
44
Birthdate: April 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

One of the most celebrated British actresses, Emma Thompson has received plaudits for her work in films, television and stage. Her film credits include Howards End, The Remains of the Day as well as Sense and Sensibility which she also wrote. Her television appearances include miniseries Angels in America. The award winning actress is also an author, activist and comedian.

 21 
Rita Ora
(Singer, Actress)
Rita Ora
43
Birthdate: November 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pristina, SFR Yugoslavia

Rita Ora is a popular singer and actress who became the first British female solo artist to release 13 top ten songs in the UK. Also a well-known philanthropist, Rita Ora was appointed as one of the ambassadors for UNICEF UK in 2019. She performs quite frequently in charity concerts and supports several charity organizations.

 22 
Lena Headey
(Portrayed Cersei Lannister in HBO Series 'Game of Thrones' )
Lena Headey
27
Birthdate: October 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamilton, Bermuda
 23 
Maggie Smith
(One of Britain's Most Recognizable & Prolific Actresses)
Maggie Smith
20
Birthdate: December 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ilford, Essex, England

Veteran English actress, Maggie Smith, has an extensive career spanning almost seven decades. One of Britain's most recognizable actresses, she has appeared in more than 60 films and over 70 plays. Making her debut as a stage actress in the 1950s, she quickly moved on to TV and cinema. She has been honored with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Legacy Award.

 24 
Naomi Watts
(Actress)
Naomi Watts
29
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shoreham, England

One of the most beautiful actresses of her generation, Naomi Watts has been featured in the world's most beautiful women lists by magazines like Maxim and People. Also a well-known philanthropist, Watts is associated with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) as its goodwill ambassador. She uses her fame to help people suffering from AIDS.

 25 
Rosamund Pike
(Actress)
Rosamund Pike
47
Birthdate: January 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

Popular English actress, Rosamund Pike, is best known for her performances in the movies Gone Girl, Hostiles, An Education and A Private War. A talented stage actress, she shot to international fame with her debut film Die Another Day. Since then, she has appeared in diverse roles and has achieved both critical and commercial success as well as prestigious award nominations.

 26 
Agatha Christie
23
Birthdate: September 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Torquay, Devon, England
Died: January 12, 1976

Even after four decades after her death, Agatha Christie remains an influential figure in the world of literature and entertainment as most of her books continue to serve as inspiration to films, TV series, and video games. With over two billion copies of her novels sold, she holds the Guinness World Records for best-selling fiction writer of all time.

 27 
Helen Mirren
(Actress)
Helen Mirren
22
Birthdate: July 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiswick, London, England

Helen Mirren is one of the most respected and decorated actresses from England. She has won several prestigious awards, including the Triple Crown of Acting. Before achieving greatness, Mirren fought drug addiction during her 20s. She has also said that she is a naturist at heart and was named by British Naturism as Naturist of the Year in 2004.

 28 
Anne Boleyn
(Queen of England (1533 – 1536))
Anne Boleyn
26
Birthdate: 1507 AD
Birthplace: Hever Castle, Kent, England
Died: May 19, 1536

The queen of England from 1533 to 1536, Anne Boleyn played an important role in the political and religious upheaval that led to the beginning of the English Reformation. She is widely regarded as the most important and influential queen consort of England. She was charged with adultery, incest, and treason and was executed by beheading in 1536.

 29 
Tilda Swinton
(Known for Her Roles in Independent Films and Blockbusters)
Tilda Swinton
21
Birthdate: November 5, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England

One of the most popular Scottish actresses of her generation, Tilda Swinton is known for portraying negative roles in both blockbusters and independent arthouse films. An Academy Award-winning actress, Tilda is also known for her impressive fashion sense; she was named by The Guardian as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50 in 2013.

 30 
Jane Austen
(Novelist)
Jane Austen
26
Birthdate: December 16, 1775
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
Died: July 18, 1817

Considered one of the greatest writers in English history, Jane Austen is best known for her six major novels - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Her writing was set among the British landed gentry and dealt with ordinary people in everyday ordinary situation. The author achieved great fame after her death. 

 31 
Judi Dench
(Actress)
Judi Dench
19
Birthdate: December 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Heworth, York, United Kingdom

Judi Dench is one of the most respected and decorated English actresses of all time. Counted among the most influential people in the United Kingdom, Dame Judi Dench is a patron of more than 180 charities, such as York Against Cancer. Since 1985, she has been serving as the president of Questors Theatre.

 32 
Elizabeth I of England
(Queen of England)
Elizabeth I of England
30
Birthdate: September 7, 1533
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palace of Placentia
Died: March 24, 1603
Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, ruled as the Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603. She had been declared illegitimate after her mother’s execution. Nicknamed The Virgin Queen for her unmarried status, she established an English Protestant church and served as its governor.
 33 
Angela Lansbury
(Actress and Singer Whose Career Spanned Over 80 Years)
Angela Lansbury
57
Birthdate: October 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

Angela Lansbury played a key role in shaping the Golden Age of Hollywood. Recognized as one of the few stars still alive from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, Angela Lansbury has received accolades, such as an Honorary Oscar. In 2014, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

 34 
Elizabeth Hurley
(Best Known for Her Role ‘Vanessa Kensington’ in ‘Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery’)
Elizabeth Hurley
26
Birthdate: June 10, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Basingstoke, Hampshire, England

Best known for her roles in the Austin Powers franchise, Bedazzled, and The Royals, Elizabeth Hurley began her career as an Estee Lauder model. A trained ballerina, she has also been in the news for her relationship with Hugh Grant and her marriage to textile magnate Arun Nayar.

 35 
Princess Diana
(First Wife of Charles, Prince of Wales)
Princess Diana
69
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 31, 1997

The first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Diana was a member of the British royal family. As a princess, she became known for her unconventional approach to charity work. She was celebrated as a style icon and fashionista as well. She divorced Charles in 1996 and died in a tragic car accident the following year.

 36 
Carey Mulligan
39
Birthdate: May 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Westminster, England

Carey Mulligan is an English actress. Apart from having an impact as an actress, Mulligan has also established herself as a philanthropist. She has worked towards raising awareness about issues like sex trafficking and Alzheimer's. In 2012, she was chosen as the ambassador for Alzheimer's Society. In 2014, she was appointed as the ambassador for War Child, a non-governmental organization.

 37 
Millie Bobby Brown
87
Birthdate: February 19, 2004
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marbella, Spain

Millie Bobby Brown, the English actress and model, rose to prominence after acting in the TV series Stranger Things and then in the film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in 2019. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in April 2018, making her the youngest person ever to be so.

 38 
Hayley Atwell
(Actress)
Hayley Atwell
23
Birthdate: April 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
 39 
Virginia Woolf
(One of the Most Important Modernist 20th-Century Authors)
Virginia Woolf
55
Birthdate: January 25, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: March 28, 1941

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who pioneered a narrative mode called stream of consciousness to describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. Regarded as one of the most prominent modernist 20th-century writers, Woolf's works have gained much attention for inspiring feminism. Her life and work have inspired several films, novels, and plays.

 40 
Jenna Coleman
(Actress.)
Jenna Coleman
24
Birthdate: April 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Blackpool, Lancashire, England

Jenna Coleman is an English actress who played Queen Victoria in the historical TV drama series Victoria. Also known for her charity work, Jenna Coleman serves as an ambassador for a charity organization called Place2Be, which provides therapeutic and emotional services in schools. She also serves as an ambassador for One To One Children's Fund, which raises awareness of HIV.

 41 
Kate Bush
(One of the Most Successful British Solo Performers of All Time)
Kate Bush
9
Birthdate: July 30, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bexleyheath, England, United Kingdom
Kate Bush is best known for her UK Singles Chart-topper debut single Wuthering Heights. She has released 25 UK Top 40 singles, such as Babooshka and Running Up That Hill. She is known for her literary themes and drew inspiration from James Joyce’s Ulysses. She was also awarded the CBE.
 42 
Anya Taylor-Joy
(Actress Known for Her Role in the Series: 'Peaky Blinders', 'The Queen's Gambit' and the Film 'Emma')
Anya Taylor-Joy
155
Birthdate: April 26, 1996
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

Argentine-British actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, first gained international fame with her role in the period horror film, The Witch. She is trained in ballet dancing and began her career as a model when she was just 16. Her modelling career paved the way for acting and soon she was playing significant roles in TV series and films.

 43 
Ellie Goulding
(Best Known for Her Album 'Lights')
Ellie Goulding
14
Birthdate: December 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Ellie Goulding has created chart-topping tracks such as Your Song and Lights. In 2010, she earned the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and the Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award, becoming the second artist to win both honors in the same year. She works with charities such as Children in Need.
 44 
Olivia de Havilland
(One of the Leading Actresses of Golden Age of Hollywood )
Olivia de Havilland
24
Birthdate: July 1, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: July 26, 2020

The veteran actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Olivia de Havilland shot to fame with Gone With the Wind and later established her cinematic career with movies like To Each His Own and The Heiress. Her rivalry with her sister and the court battle against a powerful studio also made headlines.

 45 
Naomi Campbell
33
Birthdate: May 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Streatham
Naomi Campbell is one of the “Big Six” supermodels of the 1980s and the 1990s, who has graced both the ramp and print. She has also released a music album, been part of a fashion reality show, started a web series, and founded charitable organizations such as Fashion for Relief.
 46 
Thandie Newton
13
Birthdate: November 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England

A critically acclaimed and award-winning actress, Thandie Newton is also an activist—she led a flash mob in 2013 for gender equality and justice. An actress with an affinity for Buddhism, Thandie was named Sexiest Vegan of 2014 by PETA. During the 2019 New Year Honours, she was appointed OBE for services to charity and film.

 47 
Vivien Leigh
(Actress)
Vivien Leigh
11
Birthdate: November 5, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Darjeeling, India
Died: July 8, 1967

British actress Vivien Leigh gained popularity with her award winning performance in films Gone with the Wind and A Street Car named Desire and her Musical Broadway Tovarich. The beautiful actress, who went on to feature in films like That Hamilton Woman and Ship of Fools, had a troubled personal life and suffered from physical and mental health issues.

 48 
Sienna Rose Miller
12
Birthdate: December 28, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Sienna Rose Miller is a British-American actress. From being a photography model, who posed topless for Pirelli calendar, to becoming a prominent actress in the American film and TV industry, Miller's journey has been quite inspirational so far. Also known for her charity work, Miller touched the lives of many when she traveled to Haiti after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

 49 
Lily James
(Portrayed Title Role in Movie 'Cinderella')
Lily James
74
Birthdate: April 5, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Esher

English actress, Lily James, was born into a family of prominent actors and developed an early interest in performing. She studied acting and made her debut as a TV actress in the early 2010s. Since then, she has become a popular face in Hollywood as well, having appeared in many hit films. She is the recipient of many awards. 

 50 
Victoria Beckham
(Singer-songwriter)
Victoria Beckham
33
Birthdate: April 17, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlow, Essex, England

An internationally recognized fashion designer and style icon, Victoria Beckham is widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in the UK. She was appointed an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the 2017 New Year Honours. Also a popular singer, she was part of the best-selling female group of all time, Spice Girls.

Britain has also produced some of the best minds in the fields of science, technology, literature and politics. Jane Austen, well known for her romantic novels remains one of the most widely read author even today—almost two centuries after her death! When it comes to compassion, who can beat the British women like Elizabeth Fry and Florence Nightingale? Browse on to know more interesting facts about famous British women.