15 February 2013 by

Jessica Ennis Or The Queen: Who’s Your Most Inspirational Woman?

We've all got one woman we can't help but admire - in fact, we'll admit to having several full-blown girl-crushes on the go at any one time. The big question is, who tops your list? Err, the Queen apparently...

Maybe it’s her ever changing (but duly coordinated) brightly coloured outfits, her perfectly poised perm or her, err, regal wave, but for the second time this week our Queenie, HRH Elizabeth II, has managed to top a poll of most inspiring women in Britain – well, almost. She’s head to head at 42% of the vote with golden girl Jessica Ennis – both of whom British women voted for most in a survey of high profile British females that women find most inspiring, including Kate Middleton (25%), J.K. Rowling, Dame Helen Mirren (both 35%) and Paralympic gold medallist with 31%.

Who would you choose? Here, the Grazia team reveal who inspires them the most...

Priscilla Higham, Founder of African Solutions to African Problems

Zoe Beaty, Features Writer

Priscilla's life runs like a film script. Not only has she rubbed shoulders with some of Hollywood's super stars, worked as a writer for Hunter S. Thompson and lived all over the world, she's also the founder of incredible charity [a target="_blank" href="http://africansolutions.org/">African Solutions to African Problems[/a] (ASAP). Through the charity, Priscilla inspires South African women who look after children orphaned by AIDS everyday, working to provide training, support and resources to build a brighter future for families devastated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. So inspiring is ASAP, it was the focus of Grazia's 2012 [a target="_blank" href="/LatestIssue/help-south-africa-s-lost-generation">Christmas Campaign[/a].

My Mum

Lottie Lumsden, Deputy News Editor

My mum - she's been through so much in the last decade that could have really broken her. But instead she's the strongest, kindest, most generous person I know with so many friends and a fantastic career. Definitely an inspiration.

Grace Coddington

Josh Newis-Smith, Grazia's Fashion Intern


Grace has been at the top of her industry for more than 40 years - and all in the face of some seriously testing times. Grace tops my list any day.

Laura Bates, Founder of Everyday Sexism

Morwenna Ferrier, Features Editor

An obvious choice in the week of One Billion Rising, but Laura's dedication to her site Everyday Sexism, a digital platform which catalogues instances of sexism experienced by women, has ensure women's rights have been pushed forefront of the media, and made Laura one of the most important young campaigners in the UK. Plus, she does it all in her own spare time. That's second level multi-tasking.

Sally Gunnell, Olympic Gold Medallist

Lauren Murdoch-Smith, Beauty Editor

Ever since the Barcelona Olympics I've been a huge fan of Sally Gunnell, who won gold in the 400m hurdles. I even made a statue of her, complete with gold medal, when I was younger! She was the first female sports star that really grabbed my attention and imagination - seeing her made me think maybe one day I could too compete in the Olympics. She was the Jess Ennis of her day!

Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast

Rosie Kinchen, Acting News Features Editor

She's edited some of the most high profile magazines in the UK and US from Vanity Fair to the New Yorker. She has a pragmatic approach to journalism in the digital age and is a prominent woman in a very male dominated environment.

Camila Batmanghelidjh, Founder of Kids Company

Jess Commons, Editorial Assistant

When the Iranian revolution tore her sheltered life apart, Camila not only pulled her life together, she found her calling in working with children. Now, she runs Kid's Company, an unbelievably successful charity that help's over 17,000 of London's most disadvantaged kids. Plus, she dresses like a boss.


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