Even in the age of charismatic political spouses like Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Sarah Brown stands out for her natural beauty, charm and no-nonsense approach.
Following her triumph in helping husband Gordon Brown host the G20 summit, the Prime Minister's wife further boosted her international profile this week with a star turn at a meeting of African political wives in Los Angeles.
While the African First Ladies wowed their American hosts with an array of spectacular traditional costumes, Sarah held her own in a chic black cocktail dress teamed with a gold filigree necklace and heels.
The mum of two - who lost her first child at just ten days old and is a champion of the White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood - earned rapturous applause for a keynote address to the First Ladies of Africa Health Summit.
Her audience including stars such Kristin Davis and Naomi Campbell gave Sarah particuarly warm applause for underlining the importance of mothers surviving to the health and education of entire families.
"It has been said a mother's place is in the home," she said. "I say a mother's place is everywhere and always has been."