Meet U.K First Female Billionaire,Who’s Three Times Richer Than The Queen(photo)

Dame Mary Perkins is a vision of carefully coiffed silver hair, sensible shoes, neat little legs and a half-price electric blue shift dress — ‘Oh, I do love a Hobbs sale. I’ve got one in purple, too!’

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She could have one in solid gold and another studded with pink diamonds, if she fancied. Along with personal jets, choppers, private islands and 300ft yachts galore.

Dame Mary Perkins (above) is the 73-year-old founder of the Specsavers Opticians empire
Because 73-year-old Mary, founder of the Specsavers Opticians empire, is Britain’s first self-made female billionaire. She’s worth an estimated £1.6 billion — nearly three times more wealthy than the Queen.

But Mary isn’t the sort to splurge — other than in the Hobbs sale or on a new bike and two state-of-the-art new knees that have left her as light and bouncy as a girl.

She works seven days a week, enjoys walking holidays, cycling and reading and sings in her local choral society. (‘We’ve a big concert coming up,’ she says.)

It takes a particular type of couple to live and work with each other for more than 50 years. Most wouldn¿t last a month. But Mary and Doug seem to love it
She bikes to work every day from her modest four-bedroom house in Guernsey, eats in the staff canteen and always gives her home a quick ‘once over’ before the cleaner comes.

‘My family always say: “For goodness sake, leave something for her to do!” But I’d feel awful if it were a mess.’
The other day she nearly died of embarrassment when a shop assistant curtseyed before her, saying: ‘Nice to meet you, Dame Mary.’
‘I felt dreadful. Really dreadful! I always say: “Please just call me Mary,” ’ she says, blushing all over again at the very thought.

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