Princess Diana, Elizabeth Fry and Boudicca come top in influential list of 100 women who changed the world

PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:05 09 August 2018

Princess Diana visiting Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre, Sheringham, in 1988. Picture: Archant

Princess Diana visiting Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre, Sheringham, in 1988. Picture: Archant


A trio of influential Norfolk-born figures have been named as the top 25 women who changed the world.

Boudicca. Picture: ARCHANTBoudicca. Picture: ARCHANT

The poll was carried out by the BBC History Magazine which has revealed the top 100 women, as chosen by its readers.

Elizabeth Fry on a £5 note. Picture: ADRIAN JUDDElizabeth Fry on a £5 note. Picture: ADRIAN JUDD

In 25th position was Elizabeth Fry, Diana, Princess of Wales was in 15th place, and Boudicca was one place ahead of the late royal.

Charlotte Hodgman, BBC History Magazine deputy editor, said: “The poll has shone a light on some truly extraordinary women from history, many of whose achievements and talents were overlooked in their own lifetimes. I’m sure the full list will provoke conversation and debate.”

Elizabeth Fry, nee Gurney, was born in Norwich in 1780, off Magdalen Street.

Her mother and father were prominent in the Quaker movement and banking.

Her childhood home was Earlham Hall, now part of the University of East Anglia.

She married Joseph Fry, a banker who was part of the Fry chocolate-making family, in 1800 in Norwich. The couple moved to London.

She was an English prison reformer, social reformer and Christian philanthropist.

Fry was a major driving force behind new legislation to make the treatment of prisoners more humane.

She was supported in her efforts by Queen Victoria and depicted on the Bank of England £5 note from 2001-2016.

Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in 1997, was born in 1961 at Park House, Sandringham.

She was baptised at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, and grew up in Park House.

The mother of Princes William and Harry was educated at Silfield Private School, in King’s Lynn, before moving to Riddlesworth Hall School near Thetford.

She worked with AIDS victims and was the first British royal to work closely with AIDS patients.

She was also a passionate campaigner in highlighting the dangers of landmines.

The late princess became patron of the HALO Trust, an organisation that removes debris left behind by war.

Boudicca, who united Brittonic tribes against Roman rule in 60 AD, was born in Norfolk.

She was the warrior Queen of the Iceni - a Celtic tribe that lived in the area now covered by Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire during the late Iron Age.

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