German chancellor Angela Merkel named most powerful woman in the world by Forbes - again

The Queen and JK Rowling only British women to appear in the top 100

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Business magazine Forbes has announced German chancellor Angela Merkel as the most powerful woman in the world for the third successive year.

Click VIEW GALLERY to see the top 10

The top 100 is relatively devoid of British women, with only the Queen and JK Rowling appearing in 40th and 93rd place respectively in the tenth list of its kind.

Dilma Rousseff, the Brazilian president, is just behind Merkel in second place with Melinda Gates, co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in third.

The Queen is the oldest woman on the list and has dropped 12 places from last year, while US first lady Michelle Obama, who was number one in 2010, has moved up three places from last year to fourth.

According to Forbes, this year's index represents women who are pioneers in politics, business, media, humanitarian concerns, entertainment and the technology industry.

The list features a number of women who are listed as a result of their wealth, with all ranked by money, media presence and impact.

Women in the entertainment industry are also listed, with Americans Beyonce Knowles in 17th place, Angelina Jolie in 37th, and Lady Gaga in 45th after dropping 31 places.

US secretary of state Hilary Clinton, who was awarded second position behind Merkel last year, dropped down to fifth place.

Women who work in the top jobs in technology were also noted with Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg lying in sixth place, IBM chief executive Virginia Rometty in 12th and recently appointed Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer in 32nd.

The list features women from 26 countries who between them boast 153 million Twitter followers, with 16 of them founders of their own businesses.

There were 15 newcomers this year, including South Korean president Park Geun-hye in 11th place, Tory Burch, chief executive of Tory Burch in 69th and Spanx founder Sara Blakely in 90th.

Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman, said: "This year's Power Women exert influence in very different ways, and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community.

"Whether leading multibillion-dollar companies, governing countries, shaping the cultural fabric of our lives or spearheading humanitarian initiatives, collectively these women are changing the planet in profoundly powerful and dynamic ways."