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Great Royal Wife

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Great Royal Wife is the title that was used by the main wife of the pharaoh in Ancient Egypt.

A painting of Nefertari, Great royal wife of Ramses II

Description[change | change source]

In Egypt, most men were married only to one wife, but the pharaohs had more wives and women who lived with their main wife. This happened so pharaohs could marry the daughters of their friends of neighboring countries, which was common for ancient kings.[1]

The Vulture crown which was usually worn by Great royal wives.

The mother of the future king was not always the main wife, but after a pharaoh became king, his mother could be given the title of Great Royal Wife and other titles too. Some examples of this are Iset, who was the mother of Thutmose III, Tiaa, who was the mother of Thutmose IV, and Mutemwia, who was the mother of Amenhotep III.[2]

Meretseger, who was married to Senusret III, might have been the first queen to have this title. However, she is only known from the New Kingdom, so it's possible that this title is not from that time.[3] Maybe Nubkhaes from the Second Intermediate Period was the first person to have this title.

References[change | change source]

  1. Shaw, Garry J. The Pharaoh, Life at Court and on Campaign, Thames and Hudson, 2012, p. 48, 91-94.
  2. Joann Fletcher: Egypt's Sun King – Amenhotep III (Duncan Baird Publishers, London, 2000) ISBN 1-900131-09-9, p.167
  3. L. Holden, in: Egypt's Golden Age: The Art of Living in the New Kingdom, 1558-1085 B.C., Boston 1982, S. 302f.