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Notable Female Leaders: Queen Victoria and Queen Hatshepsut · 4:56pm Jan 10th, 2017

Notable Female Leaders: Queen Victoria and Queen Hatshepsut

There have been many influential and interesting female leaders throughout all eras of history. These leaders come from every country in the world and are certianly worth talking about. But we usually don't hear about these leaders in school textbooks as they are often left out of school history lessons.

So in this series of blog posts I will be talking about some awesome female leaders of history to help their legacy live on.

Today I will be talking about two very influential leaders in history; Queen Victoria and Queen Hatshepsut.

Queen Victoria:

Those who are a fan of steampunk or anything that celebrates the Victorian era knows about the monarch the era was named for: Queen Victoria.

She was considered to be such a successful and influential leader that an entire era of history was named after her.

Now here is some interesting information about Queen Victoria’s life, her rise to power, and the things that made her one of the greatest monarchs in British history.

Queen Victoria was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901—the second longest reign of any other British monarch in history. To her subjects Queen Victoria seemed to be a grim individual, but in private she was a very different person.

Synopsis: Queen Victoria, the only child of Edward, the duke of Kent and King George III's fourth son, and Victoria Saxe-Saalfield-Coburg, sister of Leopold, king of the Belgians, was queen of Great Britain for 63 years. To date, she is the the second longest reigning British monarch after Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria's reign saw great cultural expansion; advances in industry, science, and communications; and the building of railways and the London Underground. She died in England in 1901.

Early Life: Queen Victoria served as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837, and as empress of India from 1877, until her death in 1901. She was born Alexandrina Victoria on May 24, 1819, in London, England, the only child of George III's fourth son, Edward, and Victoria Saxe-Saalfield-Coburg, sister of Leopold, king of the Belgians.

Victoria’s father died when she was eight months old and her mother became a domineering influence in her life. As a child, she was said to be warmhearted and lively. Educated at the Royal Palace by a governess, she had a gift for drawing and painting and developed a passion for journal writing.

Upon her father’s death, Victoria became the heir apparent, since her three surviving uncles, who were ahead of her in succession, had no legitimate heirs who had survived childhood. When King William IV died in June 1837, Victoria became queen at the very young age of 18. Victoria’s first prime minister, Lord Melbourne, was her political advisor and confidant and helped teach the young queen the intricacies of being a constitutional monarch.

A Marriage Partnership: In 1840, she married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. At first, the British public didn’t warm up to the German prince and he was excluded from holding any official political position. At times their marriage was tempestuous, a clash of wills between two extremely strong personalities. However, the couple were intensely devoted to each other and shared a strong enough affection to have nine children. Prince Albert also became her strongest ally, helping her navigate difficult political waters. In 1861, Victoria's beloved prince died of typhoid fever after several years of suffering from stomach ailments. Victoria was devastated and went into a 25-year seclusion.

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: Under Queen Victoria's reign, Great Britain experienced unprecedented expansion in industry, building railways, bridges, underground sewers and power distribution networks throughout much of the empire. There were advances in science (Charles Darwin's theory of evolution) and technology (the telegraph and popular press), vast numbers of inventions, tremendous wealth and prosperity; growth of great cities like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham; increased literacy; and great civic works, often funded by industrial philanthropists. During her reign, Britain expanded its imperial reach, doubling in size and encompassing Canada, Australia, India and various possessions in Africa and the South Pacific. The Queen was emblematic of the time: an enthusiastic supporter of the British Empire, which stretched across the globe and earned the adage: “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”

At various points in her reign, Queen Victoria exercised some influence over foreign affairs, expressing her preference, but not pressing beyond the bounds of constitutional propriety. During this time, the British Empire experienced only a few small wars, exerting its authority over foreign possessions. One of the major factors that helped Britain avoid European entanglements was the marriage of Victoria's children: either directly or by marriage, she was related to the royal houses of nearly every major European power, with the exceptions of France and Spain. Though the English constitutional arrangement denied her powers in foreign affairs, she ruled her family with an iron hand that helped keep Great Britain away from the intrigues of European politics.

During Queen Victoria’s reign, British Parliamentary politics went through a major transition. The Tory Party split, forming the Liberal and Conservative parties, and started a succession of opposing administrations. Victoria played a crucial role as mediator between arriving and departing prime ministers. Though she detested Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone, she found ways to work with him, even during her mourning period. She was particularly fond of Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who linked the Monarchy to the expansion of the empire, which helped restore public opinion following Queen Victoria’s long seclusion after the death of her beloved Albert

Death and Legacy: Life in Britain during the 19th century was known as Victorian England because of Queen Victoria’s long reign and the indelible stamp it and her persona placed on the country. Her ethics and personality have become synonymous with the era.

Victoria continued in her duties up to her death. In keeping with tradition, she spent Christmas 1900 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, where her health quickly declined to the point that she was unable to return to London. She died on January 22, 1901, at age 81. Her son and successor King Edward VII and her eldest grandson Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany were both at her bedside.

Queen Hatshepsut:

Queen Hatshepsut is an interesting monarch in Egyptian history; especially since archaeologists originally assumed that she was a man. However, the more they researched this unusual monarch the more they realized that she had been a female leader all along. She had monuments erected in clothes typically set aside for male Pharaohs. It is said that she even wore the traditional garments of male Pharaohs (including the iconic headdress and even carried the scepters usually wielded by kings).

Now here is some interesting information about Hatshepsut, a little about her life, and what made her one of the greatest rulers in Egyptian history.

Hatshepsut was the longest reigning female pharaoh in Egypt, ruling for 20 years in the 15th century B.C. She is considered one of Egypt's most successful pharaohs.

Synopsis: Born circa 1508 B.C., Queen Hatshepsut reigned over Egypt for more than 20 years. She served as queen alongside her husband, Thutmose II, but after his death, claimed the role of pharaoh while acting as regent to her step-son, Thutmose III. She reigned peaceably, building temples and monuments, resulting in the flourish of Egypt. After her death, Thutmose III erased her inscriptions and tried to eradicate her memory.

Early Life: The only child born to the Egyptian king Thutmose I by his principal wife and queen, Ahmose, Hatshepsut was expected to be queen. After the death of her father at age 12, Hatsheput married her half-brother Thutmose II, whose mother was a lesser wife — a common practice meant to ensure the purity of the royal bloodline. During the reign of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut assumed the traditional role of queen and principal wife.

Ascent To Power: Thutmose II died after a 15 year reign, making Hatshepsut a widow before the age of 30. Hatshepsut had no sons — only a daughter, Neferure — and the male heir was an infant, born to a concubine named Isis.

Since Thutmose III was too young to assume the throne unaided, Hatshepsut served as his regent. Initially, Hatshepsut bore this role traditionally until, for reasons that are unclear, she claimed the role of pharaoh. Technically, Hatshepsut did not ‘usurp’ the crown, as Thutmose III was never deposed and was considered co-ruler throughout her life, but it is clear that Hatshepsut was the principal ruler in power.

She began having herself depicted in the traditional king’s kilt and crown, along with a fake beard and male body. This was not an attempt to trick people into thinking she was male; rather, since there were no words or images to portray a woman with this status, it was a way of asserting her authority.

Hatshepsut’s successful transition from queen to pharaoh was, in part, due to her ability to recruit influential supporters, and many of the men she chose had been favored officials of her father, Thutmose I. One of her most important advisors was Senenmut. He had been among the queen’s servants and rose with her in power, and some speculate he was her lover as well.

Reign: Under Hatshepsut’s reign, Egypt prospered. Unlike other rulers in her dynasty, she was more interested in ensuring economic prosperity and building and restoring monuments throughout Egypt and Nubia than in conquering new lands.

She built the temple Djeser-djeseru ("holiest of holy places"), which was dedicated to Amon and served as her funerary cult, and erected a pair of red granite obelisks at the Temple of Amon at Karnak, one of which still stands today. Hatshepsut also had one notable trading expedition to the land of Punt in the ninth year of her reign. The ships returned with gold, ivory and myrrh trees, and the scene was immortalized on the walls of the temple.

Death and Legacy: The queen died in early February of 1458 B.C. In recent years, scientists have speculated the cause of her death to be related to an ointment or salve used to alleviate a chronic genetic skin condition - a treatment that contained a toxic ingredient. Testing of artifacts near her tomb have revealed traces of a carcinogenic substance. Helmut Wiedenfeld of the University of Bonn’s pharmaceutical institute has asserted, “If you imagine that the queen had a chronic skin disease and that she found short-term improvement from the salve, she may have exposed herself to a great risk over the years.”

Late in his reign, Thutmose III began a campaign to eradicate Hatshepsut’s memory: He destroyed or defaced her monuments, erased many of her inscriptions and constructed a wall around her obelisks. While some believe this was the result of a long-held grudge, it was more likely a strictly political effort to emphasize his line of succession and ensure that no one challenged his son Amenhotep II for the throne.

Source One: http://www.biography.com/people/queen-victoria-9518355

Source Two: http://www.biography.com/people/hatshepsut-9331094

Comments ( 20 )

I always love hearing about the great female leaders of the past. Victoria is one of my longtime favourites, and Hatshepsut is one I knew very little about outside of what I learned from the Civilopedias of Sid Mier's Civilization games :twilightsheepish:

Thanks so much for sharing! :twilightsmile: Do you have any plans to make more posts about leaders like Catherine the Great, Isabella, Tomyris of Scythia, Boudicca, or Wu Zetian?

Also! Forgot to mention Theodora.

4377119 I will be making a post about pretty much every female leader I find interesting for the next couple of weeks. Then I will move on to talking about notable female scientists and inventors. :)

4377121 I will be mentioning her in future blog posts about notable female leaders throughout history. I am making this a series. :)

4377169 Yay for Britain! And long live the Queen. XD

4377193 Yay! :pinkiehappy:

4377189>>4377169 Long live the Queen! Also, I am really hoping the Commonwealth of Nations comes closer together. It is the closest thing we have left today of the old Empire.

Victoria was certainly more important, considering that her reign was one of the various foundations of our modern world. People seem to forget just how important she is.

4377229 The British Empire is quite large and its influence can be seen all around the world. :) Also, I am half British. :rainbowkiss:

4377317 A quarter or so British myself on top of Irish, Belgian, and German! :pinkiehappy:

4377264 Yes, Victoria was a staple of her own era and very much helped to usher in the new age of prosperity and innovation which continued to build upon itself long after she died. She is a monarch who is often not discussed in great detail but is very important to not only Britain's history but also the history of the world.

4377319 That's awesome. I am half British, third generation Norwegian, and culturally Greek (my step grandmother was Greek so I grew up around the culture). My biological grandmother was Scottish and Irish so I have that in me as well.

4377490 Oooh, one of my friends in Middle School was of strongly Greek background. Unfortunately I never got to see much of their cultural heritage directly demonstrated.

What an amazing ancestry you have! I would love to have even a degree of genetic relation to Italy or Greece. Then again, I may very possibly have it and just not know about it yet!

Shout-out to Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Heil dir im Siegerkranz, Herrscher des Vaterlands, Heil, Kaiser, Dir!

4377501 Yeah it was really interesting growing up in a diverse family. I learned a lot about Norwegian and Greek culture from my Grandfather who was Norwegian and my grandmother who was Greek. And I learned some things about British culture from my biological father who was British before my parents divorced when I was around the age of five or six. So I had a very interesting upbringing indeed.

4377503 I am sure that he appreciates the shoutout. :rainbowkiss:


You should talk about Eva Perón a Notable Female Leader of Argentina.

4395655 She is on my list of female leaders to talk about. :)

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