Betty Boothroyd, Baroness Boothroyd(1929-), Speaker of the House of Commons
Sitter in 11 portraits
Boothroyd joined the Tiller Girls dancing troupe before pursuing a career in politics. She worked initially as a secretary in the House of Commons and first contested a seat in 1957. After standing in several elections and volunteering for Kennedy's presidential campaign, she won a seat as the Labour candidate for West Bromwich. Boothroyd served as Member of the European Parliament (1975-77) and Chancellor of the Open University (1994-2006). She was speaker of the House of Commons from 1992 to 2000, the only woman to have held this position. Upon her election, she chose not to wear the Speaker's wig; as a result, this tradition has been abolished. On retirement from Speakership, she was created a life peer.