Queen slips six places in Forbes most powerful women list for 2020

·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II attends an event to thank local volunteers and key workers from organisations and charities in Berkshire, who will be volunteering or working to help others over the Christmas period in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle on December 8, 2020 in Windsor, England. During the event members of the Royal Family also listened to Christmas carols performed by The Salvation Army Band. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo - Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen in December 2020, as she thanks key workers and volunteers at a Windsor Castle event. (Max Mumby/Indigo)

The Queen has made the top 50 of Forbes’s most powerful women in 2020, but has slipped six places on last year.

The Queen, 94, is at number 46 in the annual top 100, down from 40 in 2019.

US vice president-elect Kamala Harris was up to third place, but German chancellor Angela Merkel remained in the top spot.

In a profile on the Queen, Forbes said she is “much loved and respected globally” as the longest reigning monarch in British history.

The profile also noted: “The 94-year-old matriarch is still setting the tone at public events and receiving world leaders at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.”

Forbes’s list in 2020 features 17 new women, which could explain why the Queen has slipped down the ranks.

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The Queen is accompanied by nine other heads of state on the list.

Nicola Sturgeon also made the top 100, but otherwise, the list doesn’t feature a huge number of British household names.

In 2016, the Queen was placed at No. 29 on the list.

While the Queen has been beaten by many leaders, she wields a particular form of soft power which has become essential in British diplomacy over the decades.

Speaking about Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament in 2019, Anne Twomey told The Times: “In practice, the Queen exercises her powers by way of influence behind closed doors.

“Power is often more effective when it is unseen.”

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend an event to thank local volunteers and key workers from organisations and charities in Berkshire, who will be volunteering or working to help others over the Christmas period in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle on December 8, 2020 in Windsor, England. During the event members of the Royal Family also listened to Christmas carols performed by The Salvation Army Band. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo - Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen with the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at an event to thank local volunteers and key workers from organisations and charities in Berkshire. (Max Mumby/Indigo)

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Professor Qing Wang, from the University of Warwick, noted in 2015: “The extent of the Queen’s impact on the country’s soft power is hard to measure, but the way she or the royal family is used in diplomatic relations emphasises the important role they play.

“Prince William met Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015, the first royal visit to China since the Queen flew there in 1986, and it coincided with the Great Festival of Creativity in Shanghai, put on by UK Trade & Investment, where many British companies were showcasing their products.

“As China promotes its own soft power, it has increasingly turned to Britain for inspiration.”

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