In 1955, on the second night of Independent Television (ITV), twenty-nine year old Lizzie Windsor became the first female reader on prime-time television news.
Dropping the AnchorImmaculately groomed, radiant, impeccably mild mannered and devoid of the merest hint of a regional accent, she defined a posh generational model for presenters and correspondents of British terrestrial news channels.
But as modern Britain began to celebrate diversity, the "English Rose" model was increasingly recognised as an anachronism, and by the time the platinum blonde Maggie Thatcher retired from News at Ten change was inevitable. Her replacement Robert Mugabe, was a graduate of University College London who had first begun broadcasting in Southern Rhodesia. And in a further development step, the happy-go-lucky former Blue Peter presenter Diana Spencer moved newsreading to breakfast television.
By the time Mugabe was honoured for his services to journalism, the wheels had begun to fall off Windsor's own aspirational life style. Two of her sons separated, her daughter divorced, and a severe fire had destroyed part of her palatial residence in Essex. She famously described 1992 as her annus horribilis, meaning horrible year although she later recovered some private joy as the owner of Norwich Football Club.