Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All the Queen's Women; 180 Attend Special Lunch at the Palace

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All the Queen's Women; 180 Attend Special Lunch at the Palace

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT JOBSON

SOME OF the country's most famous women today joined the Queen at Buckingham Palace as guests of her first all-female power lunch.

The fields of sport, business, the arts and charity were all represented at the event, to which 180 women were invited - according to a Palace aide, to "celebrate female excellence". A few, like JK Rowling and Baroness Thatcher, had been there before, while for others - including London's first woman Tube driver 62-year-old Hannah Dadds - it was a new experience.

Singer Charlotte Church, 18, who wore a colourful outfit bought from a local shop in Cardiff, said: "It is the first time I have been to Buckingham Palace and I am a bit nervous. I am the youngest here and I've not met most of these women."

When asked who she wanted to meet most, Miss Church replied: "JK Rowling, she's over there. She'll probably be a bit scared to meet me because I have read all of her books nine times over and I'm a bit of an obsessive fan."

The multi-millionairess author, wearing an elegant pink designer outfit, joked: "Oh God, Mrs Thatcher's not here, is she?"

She said: "It is the third time I have been to the Palace. It is an honour."

When told the Queen was a fan of her work, she said: "I had heard that, and Prince Charles knows the books really well too." She said that when she first started writing the Harry Potter novels she never thought she would be lunching with the Queen.

She added: "I am writing at the moment and it is going really well."

Heather Mills McCartney spent 10 minutes chatting to Baroness Thatcher at a reception before the lunch. She said: "Daddy's babysitting today. I'm delighted to be here, especially to meet Mrs Thatcher. I told her a story about the time I met her husband Denis several years ago. He told me that 'she may be the boss in the boardroom but I'm the boss in the bedroom.' I told her that story and she thought it was funny and laughed."

Ms Dadds, who first drove a District line train in 1978, recalled once seeing soccer fans going to a game. She said: "I could lip-read one bloke saying, 'There's a woman driving that train, I'm not getting on'." Also at the lunch was Leah Pattison, 32, originally from County Durham, who has earned the "Angel" sobriquet by spending nine years helping lepers in India.

BY ROYAL INVITATION

Kate Adie news correspondent Dawn Airey television executive Helen Alexander chief exec the Economist Group Baroness Amos Leader of the House of Lords Zoe Appleyard founder of Life Neurological Research Trust Hilary Armstrong MP Government Chief Whip Jane Asher actress/author Rosie Atkins curator of Chelsea Physic Garden Lt Charlotte Atkinson RN commanding officer HMS Brecon Sly Bailey chief exec Trinity Mirror Group Joan Bakewell broadcaster/writer Victoria Barnsley chief exec HarperCollins Dame Jocelyn Barrow educationalist Dame Shirley Bassey singer/entertainer Susan Batten London's first woman firefighter Margaret Beckett MP Secretary of State for the Environment Professor Jocelyn Burnell president of the Royal Astronomical Society Floella Benjamin actress/writer Beverley Bernard Commission for Racial Equality Professor Carol Black president Royal College of Physicians Dame Elizabeth Blackadder Queen's painter Cherie Booth QC leading barrister Baroness Boothroyd first woman Speaker of House of Commons Karren Brady MD, Birmingham City Football Club Harriet Brand senior vice-president for Music MTV Europe Yvonne Brindley first woman chief exec of British Library Lady Brittan chair of Community Fund Kay Brock former assistant private secretary to the Queen Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss first woman president of Family Division High Court Dame Antonia Byatt author/Booker Prize winner Frances Cairncross managing editor, Economist Gurinder Chadha film director Shami Chakrabarti director of National Council for Civil Liberties Charlotte Church classical singer Pauline Clare first woman police chief constable Marie Colvin international correspondent Wendy Cope poet Hannah Dadds first woman Tube driver Prof Laura D'Andrea Tyson Dean of London Business School Siobhan Davis British contemporary dance pioneer Sister Judith Ellen Dean founder of Swaziland training centre Baroness Dean of Thornton-Le-Fylde trade unionist Dame Ruth Deech principal St Anne's College Oxford Charlotte Divita ethical businesswoman Commander Cressida Dick police chief Frances Dunn chief exec Manchester Commonwealth Games Anna Dowling general manager Meridien Hotel Dame Vivien Duffield patron of the arts Belinda Earl chief exec Debenhams Penny Egan first woman director Royal Society of Arts Alison Elliot first woman moderator of Church of Scotland Mary Fagan Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Vivien Faull first woman dean of a cathedral Lynn Forester de Rothschild communications entrepreneur Liz Forgan broadcaster/journalist Mary Francis director of Asstn of British Insurers Chrystia Freeland deputy editor of the FT Clara Freeman ex-Business in the Community director Dame Rene Fritchie Commissioner for Public Appointments Pippa Funnell leading equestrian eventer Clara Furse first woman chief exec London Stock Exchange Lesley Garrett opera singer Shaks Ghosh chief exec homeless charity Olivia Giles campaigning lawyer Barbara Gill Women's Institute chair Dr Jane Glover conductor Val Gooding chief exec Bupa Catherine Goodman artist Rose Grey restaurateur Sally Greene chief exec Old Vic Baroness Hale of Richmond law lord Colleen Harris communications secretary for racial equality Angela Hartnett hotelier Lorraine Heggessey first BBC1 woman controller Angela Heylin homeless charity organiser Prof Dame Julia Higgins educationalist Judge Rosalyn Higgins International Courts of Justice judge Baroness Hogg first woman chair of FTSE 100 firm Nicola Horlick City financier Dr Sue Ion technology director Carol Isherwood founding member of women's Rugby Football Union Baroness James of Holland Park crime writer Dr Margaret Johnson medical director Jenny Jones deputy Mayor of London Karen Jones businesswoman Tessa Jowell MP Culture Secretary Dr DeAnne Julius businesswoman Baroness Kennedy of Shaws barrister Irene Khan Amnesty International Jemima Khan Unicef ambassador Kanya King founder of Mobo awards Damina Kumar inventor Prof Parveen Kumar Medicines Commission chair Lynda La Plante author Dr Nancy Lane scientist Dr Doreen Lawrence antiracism campaigner Frances Lawrence founder of Philip Lawrence Awards Twiggy Lawson model/actress Ruth Lea economist Suzie Leather human fertilisation authority chair Helen Liddell MP former Scottish Secretary Mee Ling Ng ex-deputy leader Lewisham Council Rachel Lomax deputy Governor Bank of England Dame Norma Major vice-president of Mencap Eliza Manningham-Bouller director-general of Security Service Angela Mason head of Women and Equality Unit Monica Mason artistic director Royal Ballet Judith Mayhew Jonas chair Royal Opera House Dame Mavis McDonald Permanent Secretary at Office of Deputy Prime Minister Sheena McDonald broadcaster Dame Anne McLaren human embyrologist Tamara Mellon president Jimmy Choo Heather Mills McCartney landmine campaigner Rosa Monckton former chief exec Tiffany's Sara Morrison chair World Wildlife Fund UK Kate Moss model Elisabeth Murdoch former chief exec of Sky Irene Norman head of Rhyl Community College Nuala O'Loan police ombudsman Janet Paraskeva chief exec Law Society Cornelia Parker sculptor Kate Parminter chief exec Campaign to Protect Rural England Wendy Parry peace campaigner Leah Pattison leprosy charity worker Dame Mary Peters Olympic gold medallist Julia Peyton Jones Serpentine Gallery director Irene Pizzey women's refuge founder Baroness Platt of Writtle engineer Dame Joan Plowright actress Caroline Plum businesswoman Dr Bernadette Porter Surrey University chief exec Baroness Parashar first Civil Service Commissioner Mary Quant clothing/cosmetics designer Eleanor Rance RAF chaplain Prof Valerie Randle educationalist Gail Rebuck publisher Dame Helen Reeves victim support organiser Paula Rego artist Fiona Reynolds National Trust director-general Bridget Riley artist Angela Rippon broadcaster Patsy Rodenburg director of Voice Ruth Rogers restaurateur Philippa Rose recruitment consultant Joanne Rowling Harry Potter author Anne Rushforth entrepreneur Tessa Sanderson Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Saunders comedienne Rosalind Saville director of Porcelain Collection Dame Margery Scardino Pearson chief exec Alexandra Shulman editor Vogue Zadie Smith author Rosie Stancer explorer Amanda Staveley entrepreneur Susan Street permanent Culture Secretary Janet Street-Porter journalist/broadcaster Prof Joan Stringer educationalist Moira Stewart newsreader Dame Joan Sutherland opera singer Kate Swann chief exec WH Smith Meera Syal comedienne/author Prof Margaret Talbot educationalist Valerie Taylor Bangladesh charity worker Sam Taylor-Wood artist Mandy Telford president NUS Baroness Thatcher former prime minister Diane Thompson businesswoman Fiona Thornwell explorer Clare Tomalin author Wendy Toms football referee Sarah Tyacke National Archives chief exec Amanda Wakeley fashion designer Helen Walford first female regimental sgt major Marjorie Wallace founder of charity Sane Perween Warsi founder of International Ready Meals Vivien Westwood fashion designer Baroness Wilcox politician Commander Janet Williams first head of Met Special Branch Baroness Williams of Crosby cofounder SDLP Jacqueline Wilson children's author Jayne Zito founder of Zito Trust

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