With her calm demeanor and giant spider brooch, Lady Hale, the president of the U.K. Supreme Court, captured social media attention when she delivered a new blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson this Tuesday.
Reading the stunning, unanimous decision that Johnson acted unlawfully when he suspended, or prorogued, Parliament this August in the lead-up to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, the 74-year-old Lady Hale ruled the prime minister's actions "void and of no effect."
Born Brenda Marjorie Hale in Yorkshire, Lady Hale attended a state school before earning a place at the prestigious University of Cambridge.
After a career as a lawyer and judge, Lady Hale was appointed to the House of Lords, later becoming one of the first justices and only woman on the newly established U.K. Supreme Court in 2009.
Lady Hale made history again in 2017 when Queen Elizabeth appointed her the president of the court, the first woman to hold the position.
Tuesday's monumental decision is not the first time Lady Hale garnered significant attention in her position. In 2017, in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, the president of the Supreme Court delivered the decision that then-Prime Minister Theresa May could not leave the European Union without first securing a confirmatory vote from Parliament withdrawing the country from the organization.
An advocate against sexism in the judiciary, she has called out her fellow justices, saying the U.K.'s legal institutions are "not only mainly male, overwhelmingly white, but also largely the product of a limited range of educational institutions and social backgrounds."
Known for her distinctive brooches, Lady Hale set social media a buzz with the giant spider brooch she wore Tuesday while delivering the Supreme Court's verdict.
Some commentators have speculated whether Lady Hale was trying to send a message with her stylistic choices:
At the age of 74, Lady Hale must step down next year when she turns 75, after which she legally must retire.
Although Lady Hale has delivered yet another momentous day in the ongoing Brexit saga, drama will continue when Parliament returns Wednesday.
Despite saying he would rather lay "dead in a ditch" than extend the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, Johnson faces a new showdown when parliament reconvenes after the House of Commons passed legislation mandating him to do so if he does not deliver a deal with the European Union.