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Queen Elizabeth II named UK's most powerful woman

world Updated: Feb 12, 2013 19:15 IST

Queen Elizabeth II has been named the most powerful woman in Britain, while two Indian-origin women also found a place in the list of UK's 100 most powerful women.

Surprisingly, however, the royal family's newest member, the Duchess of Cambridge, failed to make the cut.

Judges of the first-ever BBC power list of Britain's most influential women decided Kate Middleton was "influential" but not "powerful".

Two Indian-origin women who featured among the 100 most powerful British women were Kolkata-born Pinki Lilani, founder of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in the UK, and human rights champion and director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti.

The list of Britain's 100 most powerful women, was announced on Radio 4's Woman's Hour programme and the Queen is a safe choice as number one, as she has the power to refuse Royal Assent to laws, choose prime ministers and deny a government's request to dissolve Parliament, 'Daily Mail' reported.

However, some would argue that, in practice, the woman in second place – home secretary Theresa May – wields more executive power in her daily job than the monarch.

While many of the women on the list are household names, several near the top may be unknown to most despite their apparent power.

Ana Botin, who is ranked third on the list, is CEO of the UK's fifth biggest bank, Santander, the report said.

While the surname of the woman in fifth place is famous, few will be familiar with Elisabeth Murdoch, chairman of the TV production company Shine.

Justine Roberts and Carrie Longton, co-founders of parenting website Mumsnet, are seventh on the list.

In 11th place is Frances O'Grady the first woman TUC general secretary. She is considered more powerful than Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman, who is 14th - one place below famed author JK Rowling.

Only the top 20 entrants on the list were ranked in order. Outside that come Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Adele, named in the arts category alongside actress Joanna Lumley, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and comedienne Dawn French.

Victoria Beckham - who has forged a career as a designer since her Spice Girls days - joins Stella McCartney in the fashion list.

The judging panel included UK's first Asian female Conservative MP, Priti Patel, journalist Eve Pollard, Labour peer Oona King and crime novelist Val McDermid.

Explaining the decision to exclude the Duchess of Cambridge, the chairman of the judges, author Eve Pollard, said, "Inevitably, not everyone will agree with the 100 we have chosen. There are some omissions."

"For example, we had long debates about the Duchess of Cambridge. Is she influential? Hugely. Is she powerful? Not yet."