ONLY one Spaniard has made it into the Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful women and it isn’t Queen Letizia or Penelope Cruz who both clock up more column inches, at least outside of the business pages.

Ana Patricia Botin, the 61-year-old president of the Banco Santander group has moved one place up the list and now ranks as the world’s seventh most powerful woman on the American magazine’s annual list.

Botin took over the presidency of the Santander group after the sudden death of her father Emilio in 2014, and she oversaw the 2017 acquisition of Banco Popular which saw Santander become Spain’s largest bank.

Botin is considered far more powerful than even Queen Elizabeth II who ranks a mere 70th on the list but has just outstripped the president of the European Commission in the list, Ursula von der Leyen from Germany who appears at number 8.

However, Botin is behind European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde who comes in at number three on the list, while US vice-president Kamala Harris appears at number two.

In the number one spot, hailed as the most powerful woman in the world, is MacKenzie Scott, 51, an American novelist and philanthropist with an estimated net worth of $59.2 billion thanks to her 25% stake in Amazon which was founded by her ex-husband Jeff Bezos, whom she divorced in 2019.


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