Zaha Hadid has received Britain's Royal Gold Medal and in doing so, wrote herself into the history books as the first woman to win the prestigious award. According to the Royal Institute of British Architects, the award is given to individuals who have "influenced either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture". The winners must be personally approved by the Queen.

Hadid, known to constantly push the limits of urban architecture, has designed some of the most iconic buildings in recent history including the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics as well as Guangzhou Opera House. Commenting on the occasion, Hadid said, "I am very proud to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal, in particular, to be the first woman to receive the honour in her own right."

Zaha Hadid at the MAXXI Museum

Hadid recently opened her art exhibition at the Leila Heller Gallery Dubai, showcasing her product designs and jewellery line that include some of her works from the '80s. Her upcoming project, if approved by city developers, will be a vase-like building in Melbourne, her first in the city.