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Independent women who double up their power Independence.

Independence. It’s the thing that sets women of the 21st century a world apart from the man-pleasing sisterhood of the 1950s.

These days we can do anything on our own – head up a multi-million pound global corporation, find a cure for cancer, start a family, sail around the world…

We are women and there’s nothing we can’t do.

But the cleverest women – and men for that matter – are so secure in their ability to stand alone that they are willing to supercharge their independence by the power of two.

That’s right, imagine being totally amazing. Now double it.

Just because you don’t actually need another half doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from one.
Take a quick glance around celebrity land and you’ll notice how relationships have shifted up a gear.

Trophy wives who were expected to shut up and look pretty are on the decline. All hail the alpha female and the rise of the power couple.

I give you Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Brad and Angelina, Posh and Becks, Kate and Wills, George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin.

As one-half of a couple and as individuals, these players get equal billing.
In April, we were introduced to an unlikely power pairing when champion jockey AP McCoy ended an unprecedented 20-year-long career in horse racing.

For years, his wife Chanelle had been underestimated as the doting Irish wife who concentrates on raising the babies and turns out in a fancy new hat every so often to watch her husband win the spoils.

But as McCoy’s remarkable career drew to a close, Chanelle let everyone know how wrong they were.

Far from being a kept woman, Chanelle is a successful business mogul in her own right. She is joint boss of her father’s company Chanelle’s Pharmaceuticals, which has a presence in 80 countries and turns over more than £50million.

She spends much of her time travelling across Europe, Asia and the Middle East and so loves her job that she returned to it a mere three months after her first child was born in 2007.

She is a doting mum to Eve and two-year-old Archie and has a strong and proud sense of family.

But she refuses to stand in her husband’s shadow or live her life through his. She waves him off to work in the morning and gets on with her day.

But there is little doubt that she would have been a huge influence in her husband’s decision to retire.

This is a man who lives to win races. A man who seems unable to imagine what he will do with his life now the love of it has gone.

Yet Chanelle managed to make him see the bigger picture and, although he only told her of his decision to retire five days before he publicly announced it, you can bet your bottom dollar McCoy’s wife was calling the shots.

Now Chanelle will turn her efforts to supporting her husband in his retirement.

What will the Iron Man of racing do next? Bookies have put odds on the 20-time champion jump jockey to appear in I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. We’ll see what Chanelle thinks about that.

Relationships that celebrate equality in social standing, intellect and financial aspiration are actually not a new phenomenon, although the rise of the WAG rather eclipsed their existence.

There have been plenty of examples in history of powerful and successful individuals pooling their resources and creating double the trouble.

The White House is, and was, a hotbed of marital power – Barack and Michelle Obama, the Clintonsthese are couples who work together towards a common goal without abandoning their own ambitions in the process.

Jackie Kennedy was possibly the first of her kind.

She may have had all the hallmarks of a trophy wife, but it’s a fair assumption that husband John knew, as soon as he laid eyes on her, that she held the key to his future in the White House.

She was as much in demand as he was – sometimes more.

She is credited for pulling America out of the conservative 1950s and into a more modern era of international sophistication and became a champion of the arts and preserving American history.

But you don’t have to be famous, sporty or a world leader to be part of a power couple.

That man sitting on the sofa watching the cup final in your living room is one half of a formidable whole.

Maybe you put your career on hold to devote more time to the children knowing that, within the partnership, it will be your time to shine again soon. We all know we could cope on our own if we had to. The children would still be loved, the washing would get done and the bacon would be brought home. But it’s so much easier when the burden is halved! Life? 

Two can definitely play at that game.

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