|Great Royal Wife|
Great Royal Wife, or alternatively, Chief King's Wife (Ancient Egyptian: ḥmt nswt wrt), is the term that was used to refer to the principal wife of the pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, who served many official functions.
Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.
While most Ancient Egyptians were monogamous, a male pharaoh would have had other, lesser wives and concubines in addition to the Great Royal Wife. This arrangement would allow the pharaoh to enter into diplomatic marriages with the daughters of allies, as was the custom of ancient kings.
Monogamy is a form of dyadic relationship in which an individual has only one partner during their lifetime—alternately, only one partner at any one time —as compared to non-monogamy. The term is also applied to the social behavior of some animals, referring to the state of having only one mate at any one time.
In the past the order of succession in Ancient Egypt was thought to pass through the royal women. This theory, referred to as the Heiress Theory, has been rejected regarding the eighteenth dynasty ever since a 1980s study of its royalty.The throne likely just passed to the eldest living son of those pharaohs.
An order of succession or right of succession is the sequence of those entitled to hold a high office such as head of state or an honor such as a title of nobility in the order in which they stand in line to it when it becomes vacated. This sequence may be regulated through descent or by statute.
The mother of the heir to the throne was not always the Great Royal Wife, but once a pharaoh was crowned, it was possible to grant the mother of the king the title of Great Royal Wife, along with other titles. Examples include Iset, the mother of Thutmose III,Tiaa, the mother of Thutmose IV and Mutemwia, the mother of Amenhotep III.
Iset was a queen of the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, and she was named after goddess Isis. She was a secondary wife or concubine of Thutmose II.
Thutmose III was the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Officially, Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost 54 years and his reign is usually dated from 24 April 1479 BC to 11 March 1425 BC, from the age of two and until his death at age fifty-six; however, during the first 22 years of his reign, he was coregent with his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh. While he was shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. Thutmose served as the head of Hatshepsut's armies. During the final two years of his reign, he appointed his son and successor, Amenhotep II, as his junior co-regent. His firstborn son and heir to the throne, Amenemhat, predeceased Thutmose III.
Thutmose IV was the 8th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, who ruled in approximately the 14th century BC. His prenomen or royal name, Menkheperure, means "Established in forms is Re."
Meretseger, the chief wife of Senusret III, may be the earliest queen whose name appears with this title; she also was the first consort known to write her name in a cartouche.However, she is only attested in the New Kingdom so the title might be an anachronism. Perhaps the first holder of its title was Nubkhaes of the Second Intermediate Period.
Meretseger was an Ancient Egyptian queen consort.
Khakaure Senusret III was a pharaoh of Egypt. He ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC during a time of great power and prosperity, and was the fifth king of the Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. He was a great pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty and is considered to be, perhaps, the most powerful Egyptian ruler of the dynasty. Consequently, he is regarded as one of the sources for the legend about Sesostris. His military campaigns gave rise to an era of peace and economic prosperity that reduced the power of regional rulers and led to a revival in craftwork, trade, and urban development. Senusret III was among the few Egyptian kings who were deified and honored with a cult during their own lifetime.
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king, or an empress consort in the case of an emperor. A queen consort usually shares her husband's social rank and status. She holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles, but historically, she does not share the king's political and military powers.
A special place in the history of great royal wives was taken by Hatshepsut. She was Great Royal Wife to her half-brother Thutmose II. During this time Hatshepsut also became God's Wife of Amun (the highest ranking priestess in the temple of Amun in Karnak). After the death of her husband, she became regent because of the minority of her stepson, the only male heir (born to Iset), who eventually would become Thutmose III. While he was still very young, however, Hatshepsut was crowned as pharaoh and ruled very successfully in her own right for many years. Although other women before her had ruled Egypt, Hatshepsut was the first woman to take the title, pharaoh, as it was a new term being used for the rulers, not having been used before the eighteenth dynasty. When she became pharaoh, she designated her daughter, Neferure, as God's Wife of Amun to perform the duties of high priestess. Her daughter may have been the great royal wife of Thutmose III, but there is no clear evidence for this proposed marriage.
Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically-confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu.
God's Wife of Amun was the highest-ranking priestess of the Amun cult, an important religious institution in ancient Egypt. The cult was centered in Thebes in Upper Egypt during the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth dynasties. The office had political importance as well as religious, since the two were closely related in ancient Egypt.
A regent is a person appointed to govern a state because the monarch is a minor, is absent or is incapacitated. The rule of a regent or regents is called a regency. A regent or regency council may be formed ad hoc or in accordance with a constitutional rule. Regent is sometimes a formal title. If the regent is holding his position due to his position in the line of succession, the compound term prince regent is often used; if the regent of a minor is his mother, she is often referred to as queen regent.
Elsewhere, in Kush and other major states of ancient Africa, the rulers often structured their households in much the same way as has just been described.
Asiya, the adoptive mother of Moses, often confused with Pharaoh's daughter (Exodus), is regarded to be the chief consort of the Biblical Pharaoh according to Islam.
|12th Dynasty||Meretseger||Senusret III||Possibly the first holder of the title, but not definitively attested to in contemporary sources|
|13th Dynasty||Nubkhaes||Sobekhotep V, Sobekhotep VI or Wahibre Ibiau|
|13th Dynasty||Ineni||Merneferre Ai|
|13th Dynasty||Nehyt||(?)||Only known from two scarab seals|
|13th Dynasty||Satsobek||(?)||Only known from one scarab seal|
|13th Dynasty||Sathathor||(?)||Only known from one scarab seal, reading of name not fully certain|
|16th Dynasty||Sitmut||Mentuhotep VI (?)|
|17th Dynasty||Nubemhat||Sobekemsaf I|
|17th Dynasty||Sobekemsaf||Nubkheperre Intef||Sister of an unknown king, buried in Edfu|
|17th Dynasty||Nubkhaes||Sobekemsaf II|
|17th Dynasty||Tetisheri||Tao I the Elder||Mother of Tao II the Brave|
|17th Dynasty||Ahhotep I||Tao II the Brave||Mother of Ahmose I and Ahmose-Nefertari|
|18th Dynasty||Ahmose-Nefertari||Ahmose I||Mother of Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Meritamon|
|18th Dynasty||Sitkamose||Ahmose I (?)|
|18th Dynasty||Ahmose-Henuttamehu||Ahmose I (?)||Daughter of Queen Inhapi|
|18th Dynasty||Ahmose-Meritamon||Amenhotep I|
|18th Dynasty||Ahmose||Thutmose I||Mother of Hatshepsut|
|18th Dynasty||Hatshepsut||Thutmose II||second great royal wife to her father, Thutmose I, and later, ruling pharaoh with her daughter, Neferure, as great royal wife|
|18th Dynasty||Iset||Thutmose II||Received the title from her son Thutmose III after he became pharaoh|
|18th Dynasty||Neferure (?)||Thutmose III||No evidence documents their marriage|
|18th Dynasty||Satiah||Thutmose III|
|18th Dynasty||Merytre-Hatshepsut||Thutmose III||Mother of Amenhotep II|
|18th Dynasty||Tiaa||Amenhotep II||Received the title from her son Thutmose IV after her husband's death - Amenhotep II tried to break the royal lineage by not recording any of his wives, who may not have been royal, and Tiaa was identified only later, by her son|
|18th Dynasty||Nefertari||Thutmose IV|
|18th Dynasty||Iaret||Thutmose IV|
|18th Dynasty||Tenettepihu||Thutmose IV (?)||Known from a shabti and funerary statue, thought to date to the time of Tuthmosis IV (?)|
|18th Dynasty||Mutemwia||Thutmose IV||Received the title from her son, Amenhotep III, after her husband's death to make his own birth seem royal|
|18th Dynasty||Tiye||Amenhotep III||Mother of Akhenaten|
|18th Dynasty||Sitamun||Amenhotep III||Eldest daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye|
|18th Dynasty||Iset||Amenhotep III||Daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye|
|18th Dynasty||Nebetnehat||Unidentified||Known from cartouche found on canopic fragments, she lived during the mid to late 18th Dynasty|
|18th Dynasty||Nefertiti||Akhenaten||Mother of Meritaten and Ankhesenamun, possible daughter of Ay, likely became pharaoh in her own right as King Neferneferuaten|
|18th Dynasty||Meritaten||Smenkhkare||Daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti|
|18th Dynasty||Ankhesenamen||Tutankhamen||Daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti|
|18th Dynasty||Mutnedjmet||Horemheb||Probable daughter of Ay and Tey|
|19th Dynasty||Sitre||Ramesses I||Mother of Seti I|
|19th Dynasty||Tuya||Seti I||Mother of Ramesses II|
|19th Dynasty||Nefertari||Ramesses II|
|19th Dynasty||Isetnofret||Ramesses II||Mother of Merenptah|
|19th Dynasty||Bintanath||Ramesses II||Eldest daughter of Ramesses II and Isetnofret|
|19th Dynasty||Meritamen||Ramesses II||Daughter of Ramesses II and Nefertari|
|19th Dynasty||Nebettawy||Ramesses II||Daughter of Ramesses II and Nefertari|
|19th Dynasty||Henutmire||Ramesses II||Sister or daughter of Ramesses II|
|19th Dynasty||Maathorneferure||Ramesses II||Hittite princess|
|19th Dynasty||Isetnofret II||Merenptah||Sister or niece of her husband|
|19th Dynasty||Tawosret||Seti II||Later pharaoh|
|19th Dynasty||Takhat||Seti II (?)||Depicted as the wife of Sety II on a (usurped) statue, may have been the mother of Amenmesse (?)|
|20th Dynasty||Tiye-Mereniset||Setnakhte||Mother of Ramesses III|
|20th Dynasty||Iset Ta-Hemdjert||Ramesses III||Mother of Ramesses IV and Ramesses VI|
|20th Dynasty||Henutwati||Ramesses V||Queen mentioned in the Wilbour Papyrus|
|20th Dynasty||Nubkhesbed||Ramesses V||Mother of Princess Isis, who later, would be the God's Wife of Amun|
|20th Dynasty||Baketwernel||Ramesses IX|
|20th Dynasty||Tyti||Ramesses X||Possibly a wife of Ramesses X, buried in QV52|
|20th Dynasty||Anuketemheb||unknown||Original owner of sarcophagus and canopic jars later used for Queen Takhat in KV10, dates to the 19th or 20th Dynasty|
|21st Dynasty||Nodjmet||Herihor||Probable mother of Pinedjem I|
|21st Dynasty||Mutnedjmet||Psusennes I|
|23rd Dynasty||Karomama||Takelot II||Mother of Osorkon III|
|26th Dynasty||Mehytenweskhet||Psamtik I||Mother of Necho II|
|26th Dynasty||Takhuit||Psamtik II||Mother of Wahibre|
Amenhotep III, also known as Amenhotep the Magnificent, was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. According to different authors, he ruled Egypt from June 1386 to 1349 BC, or from June 1388 BC to December 1351 BC/1350 BC, after his father Thutmose IV died. Amenhotep III was Thutmose's son by a minor wife, Mutemwiya.
Ahmose was an Ancient Egyptian queen in the Eighteenth Dynasty. She was the Great Royal Wife of the dynasty's third pharaoh, Thutmose I, and the mother of the queen and pharaoh Hatshepsut. Her name means "Born of the Moon".
The Sed festival was an ancient Egyptian ceremony that celebrated the continued rule of a pharaoh. The name is taken from the name of an Egyptian wolf god, one of whose names was Wepwawet or Sed.
The Red Chapel of Hatshepsut or the Chapelle Rouge originally was constructed as a barque shrine during the reign of Hatshepsut. She was the fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt and ruled from approximately 1479 to 1458 BC.
Neferure was an Egyptian princess of the eighteenth dynasty. She was the daughter of two pharaohs, Hatshepsut and Thutmose II. She served in high offices in the government and the religious administration of Ancient Egypt.
Mutemwiya was a minor wife of Thutmose IV, a pharaoh of Egypt, in the Eighteenth Dynasty and the mother of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Mutemwiya's name means "Mut in the divine bark".
Iset or Isis was a princess of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, a daughter of Pharaoh Thutmose III and his Great Royal Wife Merytre-Hatshepsut.
Menkheperre was a prince of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, one of two known sons of Pharaoh Thutmose III and his Great Royal Wife Merytre-Hatshepsut. His name is the throne name of his father and means “Eternal are the manifestations of Re”.
Nebetiunet was a princess of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, a daughter of Pharaoh Thutmose III and his Great Royal Wife Merytre-Hatshepsut.
Meritamen was a princess during the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. She was the daughter of Pharaoh Thutmose III and his Great Royal Wife Merytre-Hatshepsut. She is also called Meritamun.
Tiaa or Tia'a was an ancient Egyptian queen consort during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep II and the mother of Thutmose IV.
Hui was an ancient Egyptian priestess during the Eighteenth dynasty. She was the mother of Merytre-Hatshepsut, the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Thutmose III.
Bas-relief carvings in the Ancient Egyptian temple of Deir el-Bahari depict events in the life of the pharaoh or monarch Hatshepsut of the Eighteenth Dynasty. They show the Egyptian gods, in particular Amun, presiding over her creation, and describe the ceremonies of her coronation. Their purpose was to confirm the legitimacy of her status as a woman pharaoh. Later rulers attempted to erase the inscriptions.
The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. The Eighteenth Dynasty spanned the period from 1549/1550 to 1292 BC. This dynasty is also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose.
Queen Merytre-Hatshepsut was the principal wife of Pharaoh Thutmose III and the mother of Amenhotep II.
Women in ancient Egypt had some special rights other women did not have in other comparable societies. They could own property and were legally at court, equal to men. However, Ancient Egypt was a society dominated by men. Women could not have important positions in administration and were also excluded from ruling the country although there are some significant exceptions. Women at the royal court gained their position by the relationship to a male king.