Queen praises BBC Woman's Hour as 'friend to women everywhere'

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read

Watch: Queen sends message to BBC Woman’s Hour

The Queen has praised the radio programme Woman’s Hour as a friend to women everywhere as the show marks its 75th year.

Her Majesty sent a message in celebration of the show, which will be hosted by Emma Barnett after Jane Garvey stood down after 13 years as host.

The Queen sent her best wishes, and said: “As you celebrate your 75th year, it is with great pleasure that I send my best wishes to the listeners and all those associated with Woman’s Hour.

“During this time, you have witnessed and played a significant part in the evolving role of women across society, both here and around the world.

“In this notable anniversary year, I wish you continued success in your important work as a friend, guide and advocate to women everywhere.”

It’s not known if the Queen, 94, is a fan of the show, though Daily Mail’s royal editor Rebecca English suggested she was in a tweet following the statement.

EMBARGOED TO 2200 TUESDAY DECEMBER 15 Undated handout photo issued by Royal Communications of Queen Elizabeth II during a virtual visit to KPMG last week to mark the firm's 150th anniversary.
Queen Elizabeth II during a virtual visit to KPMG to mark the firm's 150th anniversary. She sent a message to Woman's Hour for its 75th birthday. (Royal Communications)

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Garvey hosted her last show on New Year’s Eve, admitting it had been a hard decision to step aside, but said it was the “best thing”.

Signing off she said: “It’s not just a radio programme. It’s one of ‘the’ radio programmes and I’ve had a chance to do it.

“The programme needs to move on and now it can.

“Our listeners are genuinely un-shockable. Very rarely do they complain about any of it.

“I’m leaving just as some of you are getting used to me! Listeners to Radio 4 are somewhat change resistant!”

Dame Jenni Murray also left the programme in 2020.

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Barnett is moving from Radio 5Live to take over the programme. During lockdown, her 5Live show was delivered from Clarence House and edited by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Before starting, Barnett said: “I can’t wait to get to know the many listeners of Woman’s Hour a lot, lot better. What adventures we are going to have together – all starting in the year that this BBC institution, the radio mothership, turns 75.

“I have a long love of Woman’s Hour and live radio, and know that this is a very special and rare opportunity.”

The show has a diverse range of listeners, including men “who listen to get annoyed”.

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