Sarah Brown, the discreet wife of Britain's new prime minister Gordon
Brown, offers a stark contrast to Tony Blair's high-profile spouse Cherie
-- and could help soften her husband's dour image.
Cherie has never shied away
from wearing an "I Love TB" badge at a Labour conference,
detailing her first kiss to a journalist or seeming to disagree with some
of her husband's policies.
Sarah -- who reportedly has a rocky relationship with Cherie -- prefers
to stay on the sidelines and let Gordon Brown do the talking.
Her low-key style means she is unlikely to face criticism from tabloid
newspapers in the same way as Cherie, a successful human rights lawyer
often accused of having a taste for high living and new age fads.
But if Sarah, the former public relations executive prefers to stay out
of the limelight, it is because she wants to see the centre stage reserved
for her husband.
Born in 1963 in Buckinghamshire, southern England, Sarah spent much of
her childhood in Tanzania, where her parents were working, before
returning to England aged seven when they were seperated.
She then lived with her mother and two brothers in north London and has
hinted that the family had some difficulties as it regrouped.
It may have been this experience which fuelled her interest in working
with charities helping single mothers, an interest shared with Harry
Potter author JK Rowling, who is a friend.
Sarah met her future husband through her work but it was not until
spring 1994, when she and Brown shared a flight between London and
Scotland, that they got to know each other properly.
As Brown's wife, she takes care over her hair and make-up and dresses
in a smart but low-key style.
"As Mrs. Blair waves goodbye, the quiet woman knows her day is coming,"
the Mail said.