Powerful Women of Kensington and Chelsea
Over the course of history a number of powerful women have reshaped our society as we know it with their strength, leadership, and perseverance to make a difference. They have challenged the status quo and made lasting reforms.
In honour of International Women’s day and Mother’s day coming up on Sunday the 11th of March 2018, Interlet have decided to list some prominent reformers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, some of the most prolific female pioneers. High Street Kensington in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been the home to Interlet since 1995.
Our list is certainly subjective, but it tries to take into account the actual power and impact of each person.
Emmeline Pankhurst & Dame Christabel Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist and leader of the British Suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. In 1999 Time named Emmeline Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century stating "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". Emmeline Pankhurst has an English Heritage blue plaque in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea that was installed in 2006 at 50 Clarendon Road
Notting Hill W11 3AD. Emmeline’s work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women’s suffrage in Britain. Dame ‘Christabel’ Pankhurst was the daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and also co-founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). Christabel and her mother Emmeline both share the same English Heritage blue plaque that can be found in Notting Hill.
Slyvia daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and sister of Christabel Pankhurst was an English campaigner for the suffragette movement, a prominent communist and, later, an activist in the cause of anti-fascism. She organised spectacular demonstrations, rallies and marches all over Britain publicising the Women’s Social and Political Union, and trying to persuade the Government to give women the vote. She designed flags, banners and gifts for sale, decorated halls and meeting rooms and spoke to huge audiences. Slyvia’s English Heritage blue plaque can also be found in Kensington and Chelsea. It was installed in 1985 and can be found at 120 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea SW10 0ES.
Rosalind Franklin earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Cambridge University. She learned crystallography and X-ray diffraction, techniques that she applied to DNA fibres. One of her photographs provided key insights into DNA structure. Other scientists used it as evidence to support their DNA model and took credit for the discovery. In the past being a woman and being a scientist was not an easy combination. Historically, female scientists found it difficult to assert themselves. Access to education was limited, progression in academia was curtailed, and their contributions were dismissed - or even misattributed. Now, it’s become fashionable to uncover these lost women. The latest forgotten female scientist to be thrust into the limelight is Rosalind Franklin. The silent partner in revealing the structure of DNA is often cited as a quintessential example of the marginalised woman in science. Rosalind Franklin attended school in Kensington and Chelsea. She also has an English Heritage blue plaque in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This was installed in 1992 and can be found at Donovan Court, 107 Drayton Gardens, Chelsea, London SW10 9QS.