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The Most Powerful Queens In History

In recent times, it is not strange to find a woman in a rulership position. Although this has not always been the case, we’ve had women in history who dominated kingdoms despite all odds.

Catherine The Great (1729-1796)

Catherine The Great is one the most famous women in history. Born as a German princess in Poland, she gained rule over Russia for 34 years after successfully overthrowing her husband and assuming complete control of the country. During her reign, she defeated the Ottoman Empire in two wars and expanded Russia’s Empire over three continents. Her rule is known as the Golden Age of the Russian Empire.

Catherine The Great. Photo credit: ThoughtCo


Hatshepsut (1508 BC – 1458 BC)

Hatshepsut is regarded as one of Egypt’s most powerful and successful rulers. As Pharaoh, she oversaw major building projects, most notably the Temple of Deir el-Bahri, where she was buried and rebuilt broken trade networks. She also led military campaigns into Nubia, Syria and Levant. At her orders, she was depicted as a male in many contemporary images and sculptures and, for this reason, remained largely unknown to scholars until the 19th century.

Hatshepsut. Photo: Civilization V Customisation Wikia

Maria Theresa of Austria (1717-1780)
Maria Theresa was a Hapsburg Empress who ruled for 40 years and controlled a major part of Europe including Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Bohemia and parts of Italy. She is mostly known for her reforms in education like making the Royal Academy of Science and Literature in Brussels mandatory. She had sixteen children, who also became powerful individuals like the Queen of Naples and Sicily, the Queen of France and two Holy Roman Emperors.

Maria Theresia in a costume and mask à la Turque. Photo credit: Pinterest

Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908)
Empress Dowager Cixi was the mother of a Chinese Emperor who ruled China for 47 years. The Regent, who ruled from 1861 until 1908, instituted technological and military reforms, overthrew the corrupt bureaucracy and supported anti-Western attitude which included the Boxer Rebellion of 1899 to 1901.

Empress Cixi. Photo credit: Bowers Museum

Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
Elizabeth I was one of most powerful English monarchs ever and arguably the most powerful woman in the world. She was known as the ͞Virgin Queen͟ because she never got married. She defeated the Spanish Armada and ruled successfully for such a long time that her reign from 1558 until 1603 is known as the ͞Elizabethan Era͟. As a monarch and the last of the Tudor dynasty, she inspired major cultural changes like the Renaissance and the transformation of England into a Protestant country.

Elizabeth. Photo credit: Wikipedia

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