News Revealed: 100 most powerful women

Revealed: 100 most powerful women

ONE is the monarch, one the head of a male-dominated bastion of the business world and the other a controversial architect.

At first glance, they have little in common. But last night it emerged they have been named as Britain's three most powerful women.

The Queen, Clara Furse, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, and the Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid all featured in a list of the 100 most powerful women in the world, compiled by the US business magazine Forbes. It names Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, as No1 for the second year running.

The Queen is placed at number 23, with Forbes crediting her rise from 46 last year to the length of her reign and "increasing media favourability". Ms Furse was 54th with Ms Hadid at 68.

In the ever fickle world of perceived power, the list also shed two of Britain's best-known figures.

Margaret Beckett, the former Foreign Secretary, was last year's most powerful British woman and rated 29th in the world. But her replacement in the role earlier this year by David Miliband when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister has seen her drop out.

Cherie Blair also failed to make the list for the second year running after being named the 62nd most powerful woman in 2005.

But while individual British women are conspicuous by their absence, London's financial clout is reflected in the position of foreign female executives based in the city.

Cynthia Carroll, the chief executive of mining giant Anglo American, is the highest-ranking newcomer, at No7.

At the top of the list, Merkel is followed by Wu Yi, China's vice-premier, while Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, makes it to fourth. Oprah Winfrey, the chat-show star, backs up her title as the magazine's most powerful celebrity with a place at 21.

The rankings are based on "influence", "economic impact" and media "reach".

1 Angela Merkel, German chancellor
2 Wu Yi, Chinese vice- president
3 Ho Ching, chief executive of Temasek Holdings (Singapore investment company)
4 Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state
5 Indra Nooyi, chief executive of Pepsi

21 Oprah Winfrey, chat- show host
23 The Queen, right
54 Clara Furse, chief executive of London Stock Exchange
68 Zaha Hadid, Iraqi- born British architect

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