The bust of Nefertiti. Source: Live Science

The Most Powerful Queens Of Ancient Egypt

Cleopatra got married to one of her brothers called Ptolemy XIII. However, she was quite ambitious and wanted to rule Egypt alone.

The Egyptian queens played a significant role back in the olden days. Quite a few of them accompanied and helped their husbands in establishing a decent and successful reign. However, some mighty ladies got the opportunity to rule Egypt as the pharaohs.

Moreover, most of the Egyptian monarchs did not have one queen. They had multiple secondary wives that were insignificant and were considered petty amidst the lot. One such queen called Tiye tried to dethrone and assassinate Ramses III. The accused and her comrades were eventually punished by the officials.

The secondary queens used to remain in the harem. They were not allowed to be part of the political campaigns or decisions. Also, their children were considered unnecessary and weak. Only the first few borns of the primary queen were given status and role in the royal kingdom of ancient Egypt.

Following are some of the most powerful queens of Ancient Egypt:

Statue of Hatshepsut on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Statue of Hatshepsut on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Queen Hatshepsut of Ancient Egypt:

Hatshepsut was quite popular back in the olden days mainly because she ruled Egypt as a pharaoh. She adopted the insignia of a pharaoh, including the beard. She also performed the pharaoh’s ritual race at the Sed festival. Queen Hatshepsut remained on the throne for over two decades. Moreover, she was the daughter of Thutmose I, the king of the 18th dynasty. Since Egyptians had distorted rules when it came to marriages, she married her brother known as Thutmose II. She did not have a son, though. A son of the lesser wife ultimately took the throne and became Thutmose III.

Bust of Nefertiti. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Bust of Nefertiti. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt:

Nefertiti was one of the most popular queens of Egypt. She peacefully ruled alongside her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti played religious roles in Akhenaten’s newly formed religion. No one truly knows Nefertiti’s origin as experts could not find records related to her past. Certain archaeologists claim that she was a Mitanni princess or the daughter of the brother of Akhenaten’s mother.

Tomb stela of Merneith from the Umm el-Qa'ab. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Tomb stela of Merneith from the Umm el-Qa’ab. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Queen MerNeith of Ancient Egypt:

As per historical records, Queen MerNeith was a queen of ancient Egypt. She may have ruled Egypt for a short period as her burial chamber resembles those of Egyptian kings from the 1st dynasty. The burial chamber did have multiple graves of the servants, sacrificial offerings and a solar boat. Her name and status were also engraved on a seal in her son’s tomb.

Statue of Sobekneferu, Pharaoh of Egypt. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Statue of Sobekneferu, Pharaoh of Egypt. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Queen Sobekneferu:

Queen Sobekneferu ruled during the 12th dynasty of ancient Egypt. She took the throne when her brother, Amenemhat IV, passed away. Experts claim that over five women ruled ancient Egypt before Sobekneferu. However, she is the first one confirmed by evidence.

Twosret playing the sistrum at Amada Temple, Nubia.
Twosret playing the sistrum at Amada Temple, Nubia. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Queen Twosret:

Queen Twosret ruled as the pharaoh of the 19th dynasty. As per reports, she was the second wife of Seti II and regent to his heir, Siptah. Queen Twosret took control of the throne and officially declared herself pharaoh when Siptah died. No one truly knows how she died as her rule was not peaceful. Specialists claim that she was assassinated by the rebels of the country. 

Ancient Roman marble sculpture of Cleopatra VII. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Ancient Roman marble sculpture of Cleopatra VII. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Queen Cleopatra:

Cleopatra is probably the most well known and popular queen of ancient Egypt. She had a Macedonian Greek origin and was considered the last pharaoh in Ptolemaic Egypt. Experts claim that she ruled Egypt alongside her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, and then later with her brothers Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. She got married to one of her brothers called Ptolemy XIII. However, she was quite ambitious and wanted to rule Egypt alone. Hence, she made her husband/brother drop his name from all the official documents. The most mysterious part of this story is that archaeologists have not discovered her burial chamber or mummy as of yet.

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