Perhaps one of the best known Egyptian queens [and a personal favorite] is Nefertiti, meaning, “the beautiful one has come”.

Known for her great beauty, Queen Nefertiti was married to Pharaoh Amenhotep IV [who later changed his name to Akhenaten], and ruled by his side. Together, Nefertiti and Akhenaten, are most known for establishing Aten [the Sun] as the sole deity…a dramatic departure from the traditional polytheistic beliefs of the Egyptians. The two were depicted riding in chariots together and even kissing, suggesting a genuine romantic connection.

Nefertiti is thought to be one of the most powerful women who ever ruled, and her husband went to great lengths to display her as an equal counterpart in artistic depictions of the time. Queen Nefertiti is shown wearing the crown of the pharaoh and even smiting enemies in battle, illustrating her great power.

Despite Nefertiti’s great power, she disappeared from all depictions after twelve years. Some scholars believe she was elevated to the status of co-regent, equal in power to the pharaoh, and began to dress like a man. While others believe she became known as Pharaoh Smenkhkare, ruling Egypt after her husband’s death.

I like to think of her as Pharaoh Nefertiti. :)

 

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