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Betty Boothroyd – Inspiration, Trailblazer, First Woman: 1929 – 2023

Betty Boothroyd


Lady Boothroyd, whom we were ever proud to call our patron, has passed away aged 93.

The First Woman to be made speaker in the House of Commons, her distinctive voice kept order amongst errant MPs for eight years. Lady Boothroyd was elected in 1992, ending a run of over 700 years of males in the role. No woman has held the role since.
We were honoured when, after a portrait session at the House, Anita spontaneously decided to ask Lady Boothroyd to be our patron and she agreed. She wrote to us when we reached out for support for the book that accompanied the show, demonstrating her characteristic warmth and enthusiasm:

‘I am honoured to be associated with Anita Corbin’s First Women project since it’s inception.
Anita is a pioneering photographer with enormous vision. 
First Women is a commanding project and Anita’s talent, her ideas and her energy were irresistible to me. I wanted to help her get it off the ground to celebrate our moment in history.’

A wonderful woman, huge inspiration and a warm and kind patron.
Our thoughts and heartfelt wishes are with her family.


Betty Boothroyd with Anita Corbin at exhibition opening

With Anita Corbin at the opening of First Women UK


Betty Boothroyd with her First Women Portrait

Baroness Boothroyd with her First Women portrait – one of the first taken in the series


Always down-to-earth; a lovely selfie with Anita outside the National Portrait Gallery!


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