Famous British Women

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.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II.
19
Famous As: Queen of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: April 21, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mayfair, London, England

The Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II is the world's oldest living monarch and longest-reigning current monarch. The first child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , she ascended to the throne in 1952. Despite the press criticism of the royal family, she continues to be a popular figure in UK.

 2 Emma Watson

Emma Watson.
39
Famous As: Actress, Activist
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.

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 3 Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa.
47
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
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.

 4 Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria.
34
Famous As: Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Birthdate: May 24, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: 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.

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 5 Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke.
15
Famous As: Actress
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 Adele

Adele.
16
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 5, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tottenham, London, England

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.

 7 Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn.
20
Famous As: Film actress
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.

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 8 J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling.
39
Famous As: Novelist & Producer
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.

 9 Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt.
31
Famous As: Actress
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.

 10 Amy Jade Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse.
24
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: 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.

 11 Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet.
26
Famous As: Actress
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

 12 Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne.
33
Famous As: Model, Actress
Birthdate: August 12, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom

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.

 13 Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale.
17
Famous As: Actress
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.

 14 Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley.
14
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Teddington

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.

 15 Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter.
23
Famous As: Actress
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.

 16 Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews.
17
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Walton-on-Thames, United Kingdom

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.

 17 Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz.
13
Famous As: Actress
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.

 18 Rita Ora

Rita Ora.
7
Famous As: Singer
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.

 19 Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn.
13
Famous As: Marquess of Pembroke
Birthdate: June 30, 1501
Sun Sign: Cancer
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.

 20 Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson.
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paddington, London, United Kingdom

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 Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiswick, London

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.

 22 Lena Headey

Lena Headey
4
Famous As: Actor, Voice actor
Birthdate: October 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bermuda

 23 Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shoreham

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.

 24 Theresa May

Theresa May.
7
Famous As: Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: October 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Eastbourne, United Kingdom

Theresa May is a British politician who became the United Kingdom's second female prime minister. She served as prime minister from 2016 to 2019. During her prime ministership, May's involvement in the Brexit negotiations gave rise to the Brexit withdrawal agreement. She is also credited with co-founding Women2Win, which promotes women empowerment.

 25 Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith.
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ilford, Essex

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.

 26 Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John.
23
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: September 26, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cambridge ,England

A singer, actress, businesswoman and activist, Olivia Newton-John is an DBE honouree who has donned on many hats and shined in all of them. Her five Billboard No.1 singles and two Billboard No.1 albums made her a household name. Turning her personal pain into a global mission for cancer awareness, this four-time Grammy winner is truly a symbol of resilience.

 27 Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie.
13
Famous As: Writer
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.

 28 Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan.
18
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Westminster

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.

 29 Jane Austen

Jane Austen.
13
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 16, 1775
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Steventon Rectory, 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. 

 30 Princess Diana

Princess Diana.
27
Famous As: Member of the British Royal Family
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sandringham
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.

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 31 Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown.
22
Famous As: Actress
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.

 32 Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf.
23
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 25, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: South 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.

 33 Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 5, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

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.

 34 Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney.
18
Famous As: Lawyer, Activist
Birthdate: February 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Amal Clooney is a Lebanese-British barrister, specializing in human rights and international law. Her clients include popular and influential personalities like Yulia Tymoshenko, Nadia Murad, and Julian Assange. Her work and philanthropic activities gained media coverage after her wedding to actor George Clooney. The Clooneys are well-known philanthropists and are founders of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

 35 Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury.
14
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Regent's Park, 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.

 36 Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya Taylor-Joy.
60
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 16, 1996
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Miami, Florida

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.

 37 Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding.
1
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
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.

 38 Judi Dench

Judi Dench.
2
Famous As: Actress
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.

 39 Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth I of England.
3
Famous As: Queen of England
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.

 40 Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 41 Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike.
14
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London

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.

 42 Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham.
11
Famous As: Singer, Businesswoman, Model, Fashion Designer
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.

 43 Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley.
7
Famous As: Actress
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.

 44 Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman.
12
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Blackpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom

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.

 45 Lily James

Lily James.
34
Famous As: Actress
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. 

 46 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
13
Famous As: The Duchess of Cambridge
Birthdate: January 9, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, England

Catherine “Kate” Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge after her marriage to Prince William in 2011. Associated with countless charities, Kate and William started a mental-health campaign named Heads Together. Kate also gave rise to the “Kate Middleton effect" in the fashion world and was named to Time 100.

 47 Naomi Scott

Naomi Scott.
8
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 6, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hounslow, London, England

Best known for playing Princess Jasmine in the 2019 fantasy film Aladdin, Naomi Scott is one of the most popular actresses of English and Indian descent. She is also a noted singer and has released several singles and music videos. She is the UK ambassador to Compassion International, a Christian charity organization that sponsors children living in poverty.

 48 Jessie J

Jessie J.
2
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: March 27, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Redbridge, London, England
Jessie J, the first U.K. female artist to score six Top-10 singles from the same album, is best known for her Billboard Hot 100-charting single Domino. She has been a coach on The Voice in the U.K. and Australia, and has also appeared in the Chinese singing contest Singer.

 49 Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell.
8
Famous As: Model
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.

 50 Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley.
9
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 30, 1797
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Somers Town, London, England
Died: February 1, 1851
An author who was admired for her exploration of the Gothic genre, Mary Shelley is best remembered for her novel Frankenstein. She also edited the works of her husband, Romantic poet P.B. Shelley. She lost her husband to a drowning accident and eventually passed away due to brain tumor.

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.