Former chief nursing officer Right Reverend Sarah Mullally has become the most senior woman in the Church of England after being nominated as Bishop of London.
The Queen approved the nomination of the 55-year-old to succeed the Rt Rev Richard Chartres in the Church's third most senior position behind the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Downing Street announced.
The Rt Rev Mullally, who was made a Dame in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery, said it was a "great honour".
"Having lived and worked in London for over 32 years, the thought of returning here is about returning home," she said.
"I am often asked what it has been like to have had two careers, first in the NHS and now in the Church.
"I prefer to think that I have always had one vocation: to follow Jesus Christ, to know him and to make him known, always seeking to live with compassion in the service of others, whether as a nurse, a priest, or a bishop.
"To be given the opportunity to do that now in this vibrant world-city is a wonderful privilege."