Veteran actresses Judi Dench and Sian Phillips have become the first female members of London's prestigious Garrick Club after it voted in May to admit women, according to the Guardian. Established in 1831 for actors and "men of refinement and education", the Garrick was among the last of its kind to exclude women, except as guests. However, after a contentious debate, the club decided to open its membership in May and expedited the actresses' applications during its annual general meeting on Monday, as reported by the Guardian.

Oscar-winner Dench, aged 89, is acclaimed as one of the UK's finest actors, having starred on stage and screen, notably as "M" in eight James Bond films. Phillips, 91, is celebrated for her theater performances and was nominated for a Tony and Olivier Award for her portrayal of Marlene Dietrich in "Marlene".

The club's membership roster is kept confidential but is known to comprise prominent figures from the civil service, law, journalism, public institutions, and the arts. Several high-profile members reportedly threatened to resign if the proposal to include women was not approved. The Garrick, situated in Covent Garden in central London, provides members with overnight lodging, a dining area, bars, and a library. Other notable members include Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch and senior minister Michael Gove. Charles Dickens was an early member.