Get to Know Dorrit Moussaieff: Iceland’s First Lady

By Editor | Uncategorized

Aug 17

“Behind every man’s success is a woman.”

This quote seems to be true to almost every successful man in the world including Iceland’s president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. Oftentimes, the first lady (wife of the president) share the same limelight as their spouses but only a few people know who really these women are other than being the wife of their country’s leader. 

Dorrit Moussaieff is more than just the wife of the highest leader of Iceland. She’s a successful jewelry designer, entrepreneur, and editor. She was born in Israel but raised and trained to become a successful jewelry designer in London.

Early Life

Born in Jerusalem on January 12, 1950, Dorrit Moussaieff was born to a wealthy family. His father came from a wealthy Jewish family originating from Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Moussaieff’s family and ancestors came from a long dynasty of jewelers.

The first lady was also known to be the great granddaughter of Shlomo Moussaieff, one of the core founders of  the Bukharim neighborhood found in Jerusalem. The ancestors of the Moussaieff were also believed to be the ones to have weaved the robe of Genghis Khan.

Although she was born and raised Jerusalem, she spent more time in London. At age 13, she and her family moved to London. She spent most of her childhood years in their jewelry store, something that contributes in making her a successful jewelry designer.

Moussaieff suffered from dyslexia during her childhood years, a condition described in having difficulty in learning to read fluently. Because of this learning problem, she was homeschooled. However, this didn’t stop her to excellence. Aside from English and Hebrew, she is also fluent in German, French, and Icelandic.

Career and Business

Her family owned a jewelry store in London, located in the Hilton Park Lane. Spending most of her time of her childhood years in their store has helped her become a successful designer. Other than being a successful jewelry designer, she has also other businesses including the construction of an office building at Canary wharf and a tourism-related project in Cyprus. The first lady is also known for being a contributing editor to Tatler, a British society magazine.

Personal Life

She was first married to designer Neil Zarach. This marriage though ended up in divorce. In 2003, she was married to Iceland’s president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. They got married on the president’s birthday on May 14, 2003, after 3 long years of engagement.

Life as a First Lady

Married to the 60-year old Iceland President, Dorrit Moussaieff became Iceland’s First Lady. She had contributed in the promotion of Icelandic culture through promoting artists from Iceland and in identifying foreign demand for Icelandic products. She is also well-known for raising funds for disabled children.

Awards and Citations

Moussaieff has been awarded and cited for her several works. She has been listed as one of Harper’s Magazine List of the Most Connected People in Britain. Other than that, she was also dubbed by a local magazine in Reykjavik as one of the Best Dressed in Iceland. Another notable citation she received is from Iceland’s famous magazine Nýtt Líf, where she was named as Woman of 2006.




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