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Live 8th wonder of the world: POWER LADIES SET TO LUNCH.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE By GILL SMITH

SCOTTISH transport tycoon Ann Gloag is to host a special lunch for the wives of the G8 leaders.

The Stagecoach millionairess will meet with the leaders' wives at her newly refurbished pounds 4million Perthshire castle.

Former nurse Gloag has donated pounds 10million to American charity Mercy Ships.

The charity provides floating mobile hospitals for poverty-stricken countries in Africa and the Caribbean and Gloag herself has worked aboard the ships.

Gloag, who received an international award for her humanitarian work, hopes her G8 lunch will highlight the plight of the charity.

The lunch had been kept quiet on the advice of security services, who will ensure a ring of steel is in place for the wives' visit.

But details have now leaked out.

A huge tent has been erected on the lawn of the castle to accommodate security men and diplomatic officials.

A fleet of vintage Stagecoach buses will ferry the wives about.

A source said: "She may be one the the richest women in the world but Ann Gloag has seen no end of poverty in Third World countries and, what's more, she's actually tried to do something about it through Mercy Ships. So she's as qualified as anyone to speak about poverty.

"This lunch isn't going to be a get-together for the girls, Ann means business and she'll do all she can to get her point across."

Gloag, 63, who is worth an estimated pounds 400 million, will meet with the wives including Cherie Blair and First Lady Laura Bush at her 200-year-old home, Kinfauns Castle, on Thursday.

The other guests will include Doris Schroeder, wife of the German leader Gerhard, Sheila Martin, wife of Canada's prime minister Paul, Bernadette, wife of French leader Jacques Chirac, Ludmilla Putin, wife of the Russian president Vladimir and Veronica Berlusconi, wife of the Italian prime minister.

The Foreign Office said: "The schedule for next week hasn't been published yet so we can't discuss what is on it."

CAPTION(S):

Sister of mercy... Stagecoach's Ann Gloag; Guest.. Laura Bush; Guest.. Cherie Blair; Fine dining.. Kinfauns Castle in Perthshire
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 3, 2005
Words:350
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