|Spouse of the Prime Minister|
of the United Kingdom
28 November 1990 – 2 May 1997
|Preceded by||Sir Denis Thatcher, 1st Bt|
|Succeeded by||Cherie Blair|
Norma Christina Elizabeth Wagstaff
12 February 1942
Sir John Major (m. 1970)
|Education||London South Bank University|
She is the daughter of Norman Wagstaff and Edith Johnson, and was born Norma Christina Elizabeth Wagstaff. She was born in Shropshire while her father was stationed there during World War II. He was killed in a motorcycle accident a few days after the end of the Second World War, when Norma was just three years old, and her mother subsequently reverted to using her maiden name, so she was known as Norma Johnson growing up.
The young Norma was educated at a boarding school in Bexhill-on-Sea, Oakfield Preparatory School in Dulwich, and Peckham School for Girls where she was head girl. She was a skilled dressmaker. She was also a member of the Young Conservatives.
They have a son together, James Major, and a daughter, Elizabeth Major. She kept a low profile during the time her husband was in office as Prime Minister (1990–1997), doing charity work and writing two books, Chequers: The Prime Minister's Country House and its History (1997) and Joan Sutherland: The Authorised Biography (1994).
In June 1999, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours, in recognition of her charity work. Major is a supporter of Mencap, and has been credited with helping to raise £6,000,000 for the charity.
Titles from birth
Major's styles since her birth in chronological order are:
- 1942–1945: Miss Norma Wagstaff
- 1945–1970: Miss Norma Johnson
- 1970–1999: Mrs John Major
- 1999–present: Dame Norma Major
Norma Major has been created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and she is named as Dame Norma Major in legal documents. As the wife of a Knight of the Garter, she may use also the courtesy title of "Lady" as a prefix to her surname, provided she uses her husband's surname. Although this title places her higher in the Order of Precedence than her Damehood, she prefers to use the style Dame Norma Major as she acquired this distinction in her own right.
- "Dame". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 7 August 2009.
- "Norma Major honoured for fundraising". BBC News. 12 June 1999. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- "John Major". gov.uk. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- "Major minor goes home". BBC News. 29 July 2000. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- "The miraculous Major-Balls". BBC News. 21 May 1999. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
Sir Denis Thatcher
| Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom