Ancient Egyptian Queens

The social status of women in ancient Egypt was not equal to that of the men. However, Egypt has always been famous for its elegant royal queens. Some are famous for their beauty and some others for their significant contributions. There are three different titles, which all could refer to the word 'queen'; Hemet Nesw Weret, which was the king´s Great Royal Wife, next the Mwt Nesw, Mother of the King, and then the king´s other, lesser wives, Hemw Nesw.

The Great Royal Wife is often seen depicted beside the king, and was next to him in the hierarchy. Among the names of ancient queens which are quite lengthy, a few are mentioned below. The most famous of these is none other than the Queen Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt. She inherited the throne at the age of 18 when her father died. She married her brother like many other Egyptian queens and took the charge of the show to lead the nation on her own.

Ancient Egyptian Queens

One of the most interesting facts about Cleopatra is that she was the first ruler of her dynasty, consisting of the Ptolemy family, to actually be able to speak the Egyptian language, along with eight others. She was known to be extremely intelligent and cunning. Her end came when the supporters of her brother and husband realised she was too independent and had to be dethroned. She was then exiled to Syria.

Queen MeritNith

Queen MeritNith is the very first queen in the history of ancient Egypt actually recorded as having reigned. Her name meant 'beloved of Nit'. She was the Great Royal Wife of King Djet and the mother of King Den, all of the 1st Dynasty. She is thought to have ruled alone after the death of Djet while her son Den was very young. She was given a funerary structure at the Royal funerary enclosure at Abydos as well as funerary monument at Saqqara.

 Queen Nefertiti

Queen Nefertiti, the wife of Akhenaten, is also one of the most famous of the queens of Egypt. She was renowned for her beauty. Nefertiti was the chief queen of Egypt during her husband's reign, at least up until the twelfth year. The mummy of Nefertiti remains missing. To date, only jewellery bearing her insignia has been found. 

 Queen Hatsheput

Queen Hatsheput preferred to dress in men's clothing in order to prove her status as pharaoh. Upon the death of her father, she married her half brother as was customary, when he acceded to the throne. Her rule continued successfully for some fifteen years, when she mysteriously vanished. It is thought that her nephew and his advisor might have plotted her death as he came of age. The mystery of her deaths seems destined to remain just that, no tomb or mummy of her have been ever found. Little is known about queen Nitocris. 

 Queen Sobekneferu

Another queen named Sobekneferu had her name inscribed in a cartouch. Her Horus name appears in a serekh beneath the cartouche: 'The Female Hawk, Beloved of Re' and the title 'Lady of the South and North'.

Queen Aahotep I 

Queen Aahotep I was married to King Sekenen-Re Taa II. She was probably influential in driving out the Hyksos from Egypt. In her coffin was found a golden necklace with three examples of the 'Golden Fly', (or the 'Fly of Valour'), a honorific award given for excellence in military service. 

 Queen Ahmose Nefertari

Queen Ahmose Nefertari was a New Kingdom influential queen with political and religious titles. She was the first one to carry the title of God's Wife of Amun. She was involved in the king's building projects.

Reading Mode :
Font Size
lines height