Princesses, politicians, dead celebrities, you name it. 2011 has definitely had plenty of headlines made by powerful and famous women. We round-up the top 10 who made it to the news and got everyone talking, whether they were for the right reasons or not.
She had the world enchanted even before she assumed her royal status as Duchess of Cambridge. Praised for her excellent sense of style and remarkable poise, Middleton has dominated headlines leading up to her wedding and at almost every event she’s spotted at, making her one of the most notable personalities of 2011.
While it has all the makings of a Hollywood love story, the poignant tale of her life is very real indeed and has touched the hearts of so many. Placed under house arrest and separated from her husband for over two decades in the name of democracy, Aung was finally released in November 2010 and was awarded the Wallenberg Medal this year – an honour bestowed upon outstanding humanitarians who fight for the defenseless and oppressed.
After becoming the first female Prime Minister of Thailand and the youngest in over 60 years this year, Shinawatra has endeared herself to the public after displaying her competency in handling Thailand’s economic situation and the recent Bangkok floods.
Despite her public battle with alcoholism and drug addiction, one cannot deny that the world lost a great performer and talent when Winehouse passed on in July due to accidental alcohol poisoning. Her unique vocals and damaged soul were what made her such a beautiful disaster, and it goes without saying that she will be missed.
She turned the spotlight on Asian women in one fell swoop – literally – when she defended her husband, business magnate Rupert Murdoch, by throwing a pie at his attacker during his highly publicised testimony over his company’s phone-hacking scandal. Countering the stereotype of the submissive Asian wife, Deng showed us that she truly is one woman who stands by her man.
After designing the much-raved-about wedding gown for the Duchess of Cambridge, this creative director of Alexander McQueen’s name was on the lips of everyone in the fashion circles. This year, she won the Designer of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards, and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for 2012.
She’s had her fair share of public moments, from her husband Bill Clinton’s affair and impeachment in 1998, to her involvement in the 2008 United States presidential election. But this year marks her impressive handling of a difficult year which included the WikiLeaks’ release of sensitive American diplomatic cables and the death of Osama bin Laden. If the past years have been anything to go by, we can be sure we’ll be seeing more of her in the year to come.
The Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estee Lauder companies, Lauder is credited as one of the creators and popularisers of the pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer awareness. Unfortunately, the philanthropist died of ovarian cancer this year, but her legacy will remain for many years to come.
Known affectionately as Singapore’s Mother Teresa, this retired nurse was known for her lifelong dedication to helping the aged sick and destitute in Singapore. A motivational speaker and avid yoga practitioner, she died at home peacefully at the ripe old age of 113, and was the oldest living Singaporean at the time of her death.
Not everyone makes headlines for noble reasons. This reality show star has always been branded an attention-seeker but never more than last month, when she filed for a divorce from her husband, NBA player Kris Humphries, just 72 days after getting hitched. Here’s one celebrity we could sure do without next year.