The Lady Magazine Celebrates 125 Years

England’s longest running women’s weekly magazine, The Lady, welcomes its 125th anniversary this month by unveiling a special commemorative issue naming the ‘125 Ladies of Today’.

The magazine, which was first published in 1885, is renowned for its consistent high quality, informative discussions and insightful interviews with some of the world’s most fascinating women. To celebrate this, its 125th year, for the first time the magazine has compiled a list of the ‘125 Ladies of Today’.

The Lady was first launched in 1885 and is England’s longest running weekly magazine for women.
Independently run, The Lady was founded in 1885 by Thomas Gibson Bowles, maternal grandfather of the Mitford sisters. Gibson Bowles started The Lady upon his wife’s suggestion that a women’s magazine would prove popular. Since then, The Lady has remained within the same family and is now run by publisher, Ben Budworth, and edited by journalist and author, Rachel Johnson.

The Lady has been based at the same building in London’s Covent Garden since 1891 and is renowned for her classified advertisements for both domestic staff and holiday lets.

Chosen by a distinguished panel of judges, including magazine editor Rachel Johnson, the list represents some of the most intelligent, empowered and inspirational women in the world. The choices have been broken down into categories spanning Business, Science and Research, Charity, Public Office, Publishing, Journalism, Writing, Food, Gardens and Interiors, Art and Design, Voluntary Sector, Fashion, Film and Theatre, TV and Radio, Sport and Royalty.

Notable choices stem from Buckingham Palace through to Albert Square; the list features names including The Queen and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, interiors specialists Cath Kidston and Emma Bridgewater, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, Vogue US and UK editors respectively Anna Wintour and Alexandra Shulman, controversial artist Tracy Emin, notorious lawyer Fiona Shackelton, British actresses Julie Walters, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, and popular television personalities Arlene Philips and Barbara Windsor.

On choosing the finalists, Johnson commented: “A distinguished panel at the Lady and beyond put their heads together and after many weeks of lively, free and frank (ie vicious) argument settled on the 125 women we regard as Ladies of Today. This is not a scientific list, nor are these your usual run of females: we haven't chosen them for their looks/vital statistics/ reality TV careers, but because we think these are women who think not, "what can I get out of this," but "what can I put in." So instead of Jordan we have the head of the Women's Institute; instead of Kerry Katona, the head of the Girl Guides. We here at the Lady are Gaga about our 125th anniversary issue - out Feb 16th - and hope all our valued readers and advertisers will be too.”

Since taking over as Editor in September 2009, Rachel has been orchestrating a re-launch, with big name interviews and brand new contributors, who include Lady Antonia Fraser, Sir Tim Rice and Sandi Toksvig. The 125th anniversary issue of The Lady was launched on the 16th February.

For further information on The Lady please visit

Donald Earl for 3E News

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