Age shall not wither them: Vogue's list of most glamorous women rewrites the rules

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The Independent Online

Between them they have four bus passes and a combined age of 273, but if proof were needed that maturity and allure are not mutually exclusive then look no further for the embodiment of grey-haired glamour than Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, Charlotte Rampling – and the Queen.

That is the conclusion of Vogue magazine when it comes to drawing up a list of the world's 50 most glamorous women. Alongside the unstoppable chic of Kate Moss and the porcelain features of the James Bond actress Rosamund Pike, it seems the monarch's fondness for a stout pair of brogues and the "lightbulb radiance" of Dame Helen earn them a place in the league table of beauty.

The glossy bible of the fashion world found that the Queen's favoured countryside look of traditional footwear and a headscarf were evidence of its definition of glamour being "about how you wear something, not what you wear".

The magazine said: "She is as glamorous in her brogues and headscarf in Balmoral as she is wearing the crown jewels."

The 81-year-old monarch was one of five women aged over 50, all British, who have been included in the Vogue list. The three actresses and the Queen were joined by the Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, 57, whose work includes the main building of BMW's factory in Leipzig and the Mind Zone in the ill-fated Millennium Dome.

The Vogue top 50 Definitive List of Today's Glamorous Women, which features in the December edition, also includes the author Zadie Smith, the artist Sam Taylor-Wood, who hit the headlines in 2002 for her video of David Beckham sleeping, and the founder of the Jimmy Choo company, Tamara Mellon.

It also lists the models Claudia Schiffer and Sophie Dahl and Daisy Lowe, the daughter of singer-songwriter turned fashion designer Pearl Lowe.

Although the Queen may be an unexpected candidate for the list, few will be surprised at the inclusion of Mirren, Redgrave and Rampling, who between them have two Oscars and long histories as objects of cinematic and tabloid fascination.

Vogue described Dame Helen, 62, who won her Oscar this year for her leading role in Stephen Frears' movie The Queen, as "radiant as a lightbulb, sexy and talented ... she dresses perfectly too".

A recent criminal conviction for assault, punished by a spell mopping floors in New York, also seems to be no impediment to glamour.

The British supermodel Naomi Campbell, 37, who was ordered to do five days of community service this summer after she admitted an attack on her maid, was described as "glamour at any price – even if it means doing community service in [clothes by the fashion designer] Alaia".