PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND – A statue of Nancy Astor was unveiled in Plymouth on Thursday to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of her election to the British Parliament.
Former British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Theresa May did the honors, officially revealing the statue made by sculptor Hayley Gibbs to the world. The statue stands outside Nancy Astor’s former home on Plymouth Hoe.
Originally from Danville, Virginia, Astor moved to England in 1905 in her twenties. During that time she met Waldorf Astor and the pair married within six months, living at an estate in Buckinghamshire.
Her husband became MP for Plymouth Sutton in 1918, the same year in which some women won the right to vote and in which the Parliament Qualification of Women Act was passed, allowing women to run for election.
Lady Astor was the first woman ever to become a member of British Parliament, representing the Conservative Party and defeating Labor’s Isaac Foot in the 1919 General Election.
After seven successful elections and 26 years in the House of Commons, Nancy Astor retired from politics in 1945. That same year, 24 women were elected to Parliament.