Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

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Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

In honour of our International Women’s Day digital issue,
we’re taking a look at the royal women around the world who are proud to call
themselves feminists.

The Queen

Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

The Queen has normalized the idea of a woman at the helm

To maintain her neutrality, the Queen rarely expresses her personal
opinions on the issues of the day such as feminism. However, as the only
monarch, most of us have ever known, she has, through her constancy and dignity,
normalized the idea of a woman at the helm.

Certainly, the royal matriarch won over The Crown star Olivia Colman who brought her character to
the screen. Olivia said that she’d “fallen in love” with the Queen,
hailing her “the ultimate feminist” and “no shrinking
violet”. “She’s the breadwinner. She’s the one on our coins and
banknotes. Prince Philip has to walk behind her,” said Olivia.

The Oscar winner went on to cite the Queen’s wartime experience in the
Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. Known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth
Windsor, she trained as a mechanic and kept her parents up to date on what she
learned. “We had spark plugs all night long at dinner,” the Queen
Mother joked proudly. Her enthusiasm for cars was evident again when she drove
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 1998 at Balmoral. At the time women were not
allowed to drive in his kingdom, so imagine the King’s surprise when the Queen
motioned him to the passenger seat and took the wheel.

Winston Churchill foretold another Golden Age under a second Queen
Elizabeth when he pledged his loyalty on the death of her father King George VI.
“Famous have been the reigns of our Queens. Some of the greatest periods
in our history have unfolded under their sceptre,” declared Britain’s
iconic wartime leader. “I may well feel a thrill in invoking once more the
prayer and the anthem, God saves the Queen!”

 Princess Diana

Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

“Diana was intent on transcending expectations and background”

Until Princess Diana’s time, Victorian ideals mandated the limits of a
royal consort’s behaviour, but she upended all that. Senior editor at The
Economist Anne McElvoy, who has followed the work of both the late Princess
and Meghan, says that Diana’s life was “a triumph of feminine strength in
practice”. “Like a lot of feminists of different eras and
temperaments, Diana was intent on transcending expectations and background,
with a good dose of wilfulness thrown in,” she says.

Where society expected her to suffer in silence, she talked openly about
her bulimia, self-harm and post-natal depression. Where people believed she
would concentrate on picking out tiaras and cutting ribbons, she walked quite
literally into minefields, shook hands with AIDS patients and touched India’s
Untouchables. By the end, she reveled, in her only TV interview, in being
“a strong woman doing her bit”.

The Countess of Wessex

Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

“If we make greater strides towards parity, then we all stand to win,” Sophie once said

Another strong woman of Diana’s generation, the Countess of Wessex, is
using her platform to empower women and girls. “We must ensure that the
silence that hides pain and suffering is turned into voices of hope,”
Sophie previously told Commonwealth leaders in a speech, urging them to promote
“a feminist peace” which includes women as negotiators, peacekeepers
and political leaders in areas of conflict.

A PR professional who ran a successful business before marrying into the
royal family, Sophie is also a global ambassador for 100 Women in Finance, an
initiative to boost female role models in the industry. “We need everyone,
male and female, to support this mission,” she said at a conference in New
York. “If we make greater strides towards parity, then we all stand to
win. There will be bigger slices of a bigger cake for everyone.”

 Queen Elizabeth I

Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

The former monarch said she was married only to England

Four hundred years ago no Princess would have dared make a call for
equality. But Elizabeth I was forced more than once to tackle the question of
her fitness, as a woman, to rule. Addressing her troops in 1588 before the battle
with King Philip II’s Spanish Armada, she told them: “I know I have the
body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a King.”

Nor was she averse to using feminine mystique to keep her courtiers in
thrall. A spin doctor before the term existed, she created the myth of the
Virgin Queen, married only to England, knowing that matrimony and babies would
compromise her independence. “I will have here but one mistress and no
master,” she told one overzealous suitor.

Even though Elizabeth is regarded as a feminist icon she would never
have thought of herself that way, according to playwright Joanna Carrick, who
wrote Progress about the Queen’s image-making tours. “The idea of women’s
rights and women being allowed to do all of the things that men can do just
wouldn’t occur to her and yet as an individual she was that; she lived that
ideal. She was brilliant at sport and horse riding, really active, a massive
intellect − she was living proof women are absolutely amazing.”

Queen Victoria

Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

Queen Victoria reshaped the monarchy along female lines

Nor would our other great Queen, Victoria, have considered herself a feminist.
She wasn’t thrilled about women becoming doctors or having the vote, privately
describing the suffragette movement as a “mad, wicked folly”. But
Victoria made a direct contribution to empowerment by reshaping the monarchy
along female lines. She put the ideas of a loving family, and a real home, at
the heart of it, which made it much more relevant to ordinary people. Dr Amanda
Foreman, the curator of an exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of her
birth, said that at Buckingham Palace, she transformed the “fabric of the
building”. And she opened it up to the public.

The grandmother of Europe created the “traditions which we now
associate with the modern monarchy”, the historian explains. “Whether
it’s the balcony, or garden party, or bringing people into this palace to
celebrate very important national and public occasions. That kind of
relationship is very much a female relationship, it’s an expression of female
power – it’s about family, duty, loyalty and public service – not about
military might.”

Queen Letizia of Spain

Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

Queen Letizia has denounced injustices such as female illiteracy, FGM and child marriage

“Every girl born anywhere in the world should have the possibility
to choose what she wants in life because it’s wonderful to be a woman … Or at
least it should be.” With these words in 2015, the Spanish royal denounced
injustices such as female illiteracy, FGM, child marriage, the pay gap and
domestic violence.

Clearly a woman of conviction, the former journalist met her husband, King Felipe, while reporting on an oil spill in Galicia and had previously broadcast
from Ground Zero and Iraq. She brings a wealth of professional experience to
her role as a 21st century Queen, having traveled from Haiti to El Salvador,
Honduras and Mozambique to promote her causes.

Letizia’s won praise from Dr Maria Neira of the World Health
Organisation, who says: “She’s a European Queen, a modern Queen who dares
to speak clearly. She says: ‘We know what happens in the world and much of what
happens is entirely unacceptable. And we must take action against it.'”

Girl Power! Queens and Princesses Who Are Proud Feminists

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Queen Rania of Jordan are also examples of empowered royals

Queen Rania of Jordan

In the modern era, the indomitable Queen Rania is a beacon for female power. For the mother
of four, empowerment begins at home. When her daughter Princess Salma studied
at Sandhurst Military Academy, then became the first Jordanian woman to complete
preliminary pilot training on fixed-wing aircraft, she couldn’t have been
prouder. Congratulations also came from Salma’s brother, Hussein, and father
King Abdullah, who has always supported his Queen’s activism.

Rania is keen to promote her family’s example to the wider world. She
beats the drum for gender equality, tackling thorny issues such as domestic
violence, honour killings, child abuse and religious extremism. At the HeforShe
summit in 2018, she praised Arab women for their “spirit of steel”.
She called on men to be allies, urging them “to pull up women weighed down
by hurdles you’ll never know. Light up the Arab chapter of HeForShe. Because
when everyone is for her, we’re greater than the sum of our parts”.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Maxima, a former investment banker, is passionate about reducing poverty
through inclusive finance. Since 2009, she’s been a UN Special Advocate,
promoting access to bank accounts, insurance, loans and pensions as a way of
transforming women’s lives.

The eldest of her three daughters, Catharina Amalia, is the heir to the
throne, meaning there’s yet more girl power to come. This may be why Maxima
responded positively when asked at a conference with Angela Merkel if she was a
feminist. “I want all women to have freedom of choice and opportunities
that they can grab and be happy and proud of themselves,” responded the
Dutch Queen. “If that is a feminist, I am a feminist.” At which point
the German leader then agreed: “Then I am one, too.”

 

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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