Irène was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Growing up, she lived in various locations in Cameroon as part of a military family (her father was in the army).
Irene Major is married to oil and gas tycoon Sam Malin who is of dual Canadian and British citizenship They have five children Samantha (born 2000), Lulu-Marie (born 2007), Pearl (born 2010), Lincoln (born 2011) and Mona (born 2015). They are currently based in the UK, although they previously were based in Paris. She holds the Scottish feudal courtesy title of Lady Hailes.
In 2012, Ingress Abbey was purchased by Irène Major, and was converted back into its original use as a family home.
In Cameroon, Irène was a regular feature of the catwalk (she was Miss Lions Cameroon 1995), an occasional radio presenter and had parts in various films. From Cameroon, she moved first to Paris, France and then to the United Kingdom.
Internationally, Irène has worked as a model and in film, TV shows, music videos and commercials, with roles credited and uncredited. She has appeared in Die Another Day, Ali G Indahouse, World of Our Own – Westlife, Black Betty by Tom Jones, as the presenter of Ess'mode par Irene Major, a guest judge on The One, and as an on-screen hostess on the V Graham Norton show. In 2015, she appeared in Million Pound Properties, Britain's Flashiest Families, Shock Docs: Britain's Pushiest Parents in 2016. and Too Posh To Parent.
Irène forms one half of the pop-duo Major (with her sister Elsa).
Irène has been embroiled in some controversay on skin bleaching and has spoken in on TV and in press on this subject. She is a Fashion Consultant to Burke's Peerage.
Irene set up the pop group Major in 2012 with her sister Elsa. They have released a number of songs and videos:
Love Me Boy (written by Pete Kirtley)
Romeo (written by Pete Bellotte and Sylvester Levay, original performer: Donna Summer)
Birds (written by Irene Major)
Cannes Cannes Cannes (written by Pete Hammon and Jeff Chegwin)
Umqombothi - African Heroes (original version written by Sello "Chicco" Twala and Attie van Wyk and performed by Yvonne Chaka Chaka)
Major toured the UK in 2013 and, in 2014, Major participated in The X Factor (UK series 11) and made it through to the final 28 contestants (the six-seat challenge at bootcamp) with Louis Walsh as mentor.
IM Life is a charity, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and the western Indian Ocean, set up and run by Irene Major to provide support, including food, shelter, training and logistics support, to those in desperate need.