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Inspirational Women at Assembly Rooms

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There are many, many inspirational women who’ve passed through the Assembly Rooms doors. We thought we would let you know of a few who have visited, sometimes to deliver a performance, sometimes to deliver keynotes or take part in debates, and sometimes to just to dance!


Mary SomervilleAR women

A Scottish science writer and polymath, Mary Somerville was a true pioneer for not only women in science but for science and women respectively. Somerville was nominated jointly alongside Caroline Herschel as the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society and her textbook The Mechanism of the Heavens published in 1881 made her instantly famous. Somerville was born in Jedburgh spent much of her early life in Edinburgh, where she would attend various balls including here at Assembly Rooms.


Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders

The duo made their mark in television in the 1980s trailblazing a new wave of television with their comedy satire French and Saunders and going on to became two of Britian’s most celebrated and respected figures. French and Saunders took to the Assembly Rooms stage in August 1983 as part of the Assembly Festival programme during Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 


Queen Elizabeth

The Queen has visited Edinburgh on many occasions, but it was back June 1966 that she took some time off to dance at the Royal Company of Archers' Ball here at Assembly Rooms Edinburgh.


Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

A Welsh politician, television presenter and former wheelchair racer, Grey-Thompson, born with spina bifida, is an inspirational woman setting an example of what can be achieved in life. A true champion of women in business, Grey-Thompson was this month at Assembly Rooms speaking at Arura Conference which looks to encourage positive action to address the under-representation of people who identify as women in leadership positions.


Nicola Sturgeon

The first woman in the position of First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon is herself a passionate campaigner of gender equality. In 2015, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour assessed Sturgeon to be the most powerful and influential woman in the United Kingdom. She has visited the Assembly Rooms on many occasions over the years, most recently as Key Note speaker at DataFest in 2018.


Rose and Rosie

Our second female duo in the list are also in the comedy and entertainment industry however they’ve made their mark online through YouTube. The now married couple, post entertainment videos of various kinds in a vlog format and are praised for their "positive and open dialogue around the LGBT communities and issues faced”. The pair visited Assembly Rooms in 2018 on their Overshare tour to a sold out event.