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by Jill Rumbley-Beam

The Ms Texas Senior America organization just crowed a new queen, Sue Miller Grandi, age 87. Ahmazing!

Let us meet some other famous queens!

#1. Hatshepsut-She was one of the most power women in the ancient world. She was the fifth Pharoah of the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt and she ruled longer than any other woman in Egyptian history. She was married to her sickly half-brother and the two of them began to co-rule after the death of their father. Eventually, her half-brother, her husband, died and she continued to rule by herself. She was known for building projects and she re-established trade networks. She also led a large-scale expedition to the land of Punt, a wealthy and sophisticated country to the south of Egypt. And speaking of expeditions, mother actually took a cruise on the Nile river and I remembering her telling me she saw the tomb of Hatshepsut and she said it was extremely hot. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this Queen was that she didn’t actually rule as queen. After essentially deposing her own son, she ruled for around 22 years as the King of Egypt, wearing men’s clothing, bear chest and all and she wore a fake bear, making her not just a powerful ruler but history’s first cross dresser.

#2. Maria Theresa of Austria. She actually succeeded her father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, as empress of Hapsburg controlled lands of Central Europe in 1740. She made her son, Joseph II, a part of her reign in 1765, after the death of her husband. And speaking of her son, he had a scar on his neck and he would always tell him mother how he hated that scar and he wanted to cover it up, therefore Maria Theresa invented the collar that would hide necks. Maria Theresa brought about many economic and political changes to her empire. Too bad she’s not reigning now in the United States, but we won’t go there. She increased the size of the army by 200 percent and increased taxes in order to guarantee a steady income of the government and in particular, for the military. Maria Theresa was also a participant in the Enlightenment.

#3. Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England was crowned and ruled with absolute power. She never was married and was referred to as the virgin queen. Elizabeth the 1st daughter of henry the 8th. And speaking of Henry the 8th-he saw himself as the epitome of the Renaissance. He too was an accomplished musician and he wrote the song Greensleeves in 1491 for his lover and future queen Anne Bolyn. Well back to Queen Elizabeth the 1st. She is best remembered for bringing the Renaissance to England. She was a true intellect and she educated many scholars. When she came into power, she transformed the English court into a center for poets, writer, musicians, and scholars. She had many connections to figures such as William Shakespeare, Edmund Spencer, and Christopher Marlowe. She also transformed England from a Catholic nation to a protestant one. Her reigns and religious transformations were highly contested by other Catholic European nations. For years, Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary Queen of Scots had felt she was the rightful heir to the English throne. Mary had plotted for Elizabeth to be assassinated for years and, as a result, Mary lived much of her life in England under house arrest. Finally, enough was enough, Mary was executed in 1587. When Mary was executed and England’s longtime support for protestants in the Spanish Netherlands was the last straw. In 1588, Elizabeth’s former brother in law, Phillip the 2nd of Spain sent out a naval fleet, the Spanish Armada, to invade England and dethrone Elizabeth and re-establish Roman Catholicism as the official religion. Elizabeth, however, was no shrinking violet, she retaliated and won! She later sent the explorers, one being Sir Walter Raleigh, who founded a colony he named Virginia and it was named Virginia because Elizabeth was a virgin. Yes. Virginia means Virgin.

#4. Queen Esther-The story in the Bible about Queen Esther begins with a grand banquet at the palace of king Ahasuerus, also referred to as King Xerxes. The king had become drunk on wine and demanded his wife, Queen Vashti come before everyone to show how beautiful she was. Queen Vashti refused to be paraded before everyone, and King Xerxes became so angry at her disrespect and disregard for his request, he divorced her on the spot. The king called for a nationwide beauty pageant to be held to find a new beautiful queen. The King appointed a man named Hegai to prepare women to meet the King. We know Esther was a Jewish woman and she was careful not to tell her nationality. When it was Esther turn to go before the king, he found her the most attractive and put a crown on her head. The King held a big banquet and Esther continued to hide the fact she was Jewish. She knew it was dangerous if anyone, especially the king, to tell the fact she was Jewish. Later Esther found out there was an edict to kill all Jewish people and Esther feared for her life. Esther wanted to do something to save the Jewish people so she instructed all the Jews to fast for three days then she would approach the king asking that the Jews be saved. So, the king held a banquet and Esther boldly asked she be saved along with her people and additionally a man named Haman had also plotted to kill all the Jews for money. The king of course was filled with anger and had Haman hanged. Then Queen Esther was honored with beautiful garments and a decree was written to protect all Jewish people.

Maybe you’ll be the next Queen or at least a Queen for a day!

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