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Who is Penny Mordaunt? The woman in the teal-colored dress carrying the 17th-century Sword of State

She wasn’t expected to be one of the main focuses of attention at the coronation of King Charles III, but social media was quick to ask the question.

Update:
She wasn’t expected to be one of the main focuses of attention at the coronation of King Charles III, but social media was quick to ask the question.
POOLvia REUTERS

King Charles III. Queen Camilla. Princes William and Harry. Princess Catherine. Justin Welby. These were the names, among others, that we expected to take the attention of the coronation ceremony. But one of those ‘others’ garnered more interest than most. Step forward Penelope Mary Mordaunt.

Penny Mordaunt plays role in King Charles III coronation

As the pictures emerged from Westminster Abbey during the ceremony, the woman in a teal coloured dress started to trend on social media. She may have been an unknown to the casual observer of goings on in Britain but has been a strong political figure in recent years. At the coronation of Charles and Camilla, Mordaunt played her role as lord president of the Council who is the presiding officer of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom and the fourth of the Great Officers of State, ranking below the Lord High Treasurer but above the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.

Mordaunt has been described as a trailblazer in British politics, a force to be reckoned with, and a staunch advocate for her country and its people. That said, she does divide opinion over her political stance.

Her remarkable journey began when she was first elected in 2010 as the Conservative Member of Parliament for the Portsmouth North constituency. Since then, she has gone on to hold a series of prominent government roles, and her supporters would say she has left an indelible mark on British politics. She has also had a couple of attempts in recent turbulent times for her party to become its leader, and by default PM, failing against Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak on both occasions. Given this week’s local election debacle, could her new-found fame see her try again?

Mordaunt has brought her unique flair to several high-profile positions, including Secretary of State for International Development and Secretary of State for Defence. Some have said that her unwavering commitment to public service and belief in the power of political engagement have been a defining feature of her career. She may now be remembered for holding a big sword.

As the first female to hold the position of Minister for the Armed Forces in the UK, she has proved to be somewhat of a role model for future generations of women in politics. Mordaunt is also a Royal Navy reservist.

Throughout her career to date, Mordaunt has been a staunch advocate for military causes and a vocal supporter of Brexit during the 2016 EU referendum. Yeah, a rather big blot possibly on her career given the total mess that has been, although she was far from alone in this mistaken push. But her commitment to her principles has been admired by those who appreciated her views.

Whether or not she’ll ever get as much global attention as she did in the coronation, however, is definitely in doubt. Here are a few of the comments we rather enjoyed.