The President of Argentina and Lady Gaga are more powerful than the Queen of England, according to Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's most powerful women.

The business magazine ranks Queen Elizabeth II, the first British woman on the list, at number 26 - compared to Cristina de Kirchner as the world's 16th most powerful woman, and Gaga at number 14.

Britons can take some comfort from the rankings, as Australia doesn't get a look in before prime minister Julia Gillard in 27th spot.

Editor and founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, is at number 29 - three places ahead of Beyonce - while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is number one.

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Harry Potter author JK Rowling comes in at number 78, the only other British woman on the list.

Other formidable females with British links are magazine editor Tina Brown, who was born in the UK but is now an American citizen, and Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of publisher Pearson, who, although from the US, currently resides in London. The pair came in 77th and 86th respectively.
Meanwhile, soon-to-quit Tory MP Louise Mensch makes it onto the women who were powerful for 15 minutes list after she quit politics to focus on "family life."

The women, who are from 28 countries, have an average age of 55, and 90 million Twitter followers between them.

Moira Forbes, President & Publisher, at ForbesWoman said the power list was about women who were "changing the planet in profoundly powerful and dynamic ways."

“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 multi-billion-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.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIST

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  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel

  • US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

  • President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff

    Brazil

  • Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Executive Editor of the NYT Jill Abramson

  • Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress Party

  • Michelle Obama, First Lady

  • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde

  • Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S.

  • Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg