Why Famous: Divorcee Nancy Langhorne Shaw married hotel heir Waldolf Astor in 1906 and their grand country home at Clivden became an important political salon in the early 20th century.
Nancy Astor began her political career after her husband succeeded to the peerage and entered the House of Lords. She was elected in her husband’s former seat in 1919 and became the first woman to sit in the House of Commons. She held her seat until her retirement in 1945.
Although not a suffragette, Astor’s political career set an important precedent and she frequently advocated for women’s participation in public life. Her political views were often controversial. She was antisemitic and sometimes xenophobic and initially regarded Nazism in a good light.