By Lauren Harmes
1. Lily Allen
A seven-year stalking ordeal, miscarriage, relentless trolls, a divorce and bringing up two children as a single mum would be an awful lot for lots of people to handle, but Hammersmith-born Lily Allen seems to have come out of the other end of a diﬃcult period incredibly strong.
Her latest album No Shame was nominated for a Mercury Prize, and her no-holds-barred memoir My Thoughts Exactly was incredibly well-received, nominated for FutureBook Campaign of the Year and appearing in many “Best Books of 2018” lists. If there’s one word to describe Lily Allen, it would be resilient. We take our hats oﬀ to her.
2. Catherine Spencer
Former England rugby captain Catherine Spencer is not only an inspirational sportswoman, but also a wonderful businesswoman and female activist. She is the founder of Inspiring Women – a speaker agency that brings together coaches and speakers from the sport industry and other business areas to share their stories to organisations who could learn from their experiences.
Anything that gives women a voice is good enough for us.
3. Queen Elizabeth II
No list of inspirational Londoners would be complete without good old Liz herself!
Reigning from the tender age of 26, Her Majesty is the longest serving monarch and isn’t afraid to roll her sleeves up. Fixing cars as a truck mechanic in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service in World War II and taking heads of state for spins in her Land Rover – she isn’t your quintessential queen. She is, however, a female icon, a London icon, and a symbol of our great country!
4. Letitia Wright
A Guyana-born and Tottenham raised actress, 24-year-old Letitia has worked hard building a career in roles in critically-acclaimed series’ like Top Boy and Black Mirror, and more famous programmes like the classic Doctor Who. Her career shot to new heights, however, when she landed parts in Black Panther and Avengers: Inﬁnity War, but that hasn’t stopped her from being vocal about her struggle with depression and discovering God and Christianity and how it helped her through some darker times.
5. Antonia Romeo
From celebrities and sports stars to super-serious businesswomen – and what better place to start than Antonia Romeo? Educated at North London Collegiate School, then Westminster School, this Oxford graduate is now the Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Trade. Not a bad title, right? The DIT was set up to deal with Britain’s exit from the European Union, and Antonia, 43, is in charge of future planning for a post-Brexit trade arrangement. Prior to this highly-pressured role, Antonia cut her teeth as Britain’s ﬁrst female consul general in New York and Director-General of Economic and Commercial Aﬀairs in the USA – that’s some CV!
6. Amelia Gentleman
Last year’s Journalist of the Year Amelia Gentleman for her work on an account of the Windrush scandal for The Guardian, highlighting the deportation of people originally from British colonies in the Caribbean, or elsewhere in the Commonwealth who had legal right of residence in the UK.
Born in Camden, Amelia worked at the International Herald Tribune as New Delhi correspondent and at The Guardian as Paris and Moscow correspondent. Amelia spent six months working on an account of the Windrush scandal for The Guardian, an issue that had previously been neglected by the British media. Amelia’s resilience and determination resulted in the resignation of then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd and resulted in Amelia winning the 2018 Paul Foot Award and two Journalist of the Year awards.
7. Dua Lipa
Super pop star Dua Lipa is a proud Londoner - born in Westminster to Albanian parents, Dua attended Sylvia Young Theatre School before moving to Kosovo for a short period before returning to the capital to chase her dreams of becoming a singer. And what dreams they were! Dua Lipa is one of the biggest female pop stars in the world right now, carving out her own New Rules and representing London on the global stage. Multiple Brit award- winning and Grammy award-winning Dua has stolen London and the world’s hearts and she’s only going to go from strength to strength.