10 Most Important Queens in History
Over the years, women have proved their importance and power in a lot of different ways, some are known as great painters, poets, or academics and some, as queens reigning powerful countries, showing their potential of being leaders in the same ways as men.
In order to support all the women around the world we decided to make a list of 10 most important queens in history.
10. Queen Victoria
She ruled England from 1837-1901.
Victoria took the queens title during the peak of the British Empire, which at the time was the bridge of the six continents. She was known for being totally conservative and according to the Verse List, she did a lot of political and social reforms in the UK as well as in the British Empire. She abolished slavery during her rule. She also supported the Factory Act and reduced the working day in textile factories to ten hours. She also helped with the Third Reform Act of 1884, which allowed the right of vote to all male householders. She gave the right to vote to mostly all English men too.
9. Maria Theresa of Austria
She ruled Austria from 1740 to 1780.
One of Europe’s longest ruling queens, Maria Theresa was also one of the most successful. She and her partner Francis gave birth to 16 children, one of them Marie Antoinette. During her reign, Marie Therese faced a battle to get all her property under her control. She also faced the difficulties of being accepted as a woman leader among all men. She was also well known for her international political viewpoints which made the empire stronger. She also started Austrian military and instituted a reasonable tax for all property owners.
She was the ruler of the Ostrogoths from 526 to 535
At first she ruled as a regent for her son in the Ostrogoth empire of Northern Italy. Amalasuntha was a revered patron of the arts, literature and education. Unfortunately when her son died in 534, she shared the throne with her cousin Theodahad. Not more than a year after Amalasuntha was banished in an island where she died being choked in her bath.
7. Empress Suiko
Empress Suiko ruled Japan from 592-628.
Being the first Empress of Japan, Suiko confirmed Buddhism as the official religion of Japan. She was the first to introduced the Chinese calendar. Suiko also embraced the Chinese bureaucratic system and she installed the twelve grades of cap ranks. She created Japan’s first constitution which had on focus the morals and virtues of the officials.
6. Empress Theodora
She was the co-ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire from 527 to 548.
Theodora started her life as an actress and prostitute before enchanting the Emperor to be, Justinian. During their co-reign, Theodora fought for women’s marriage and settlement rights, anti-rape laws. She was also a support to a lot of young girls who were sold for a sexual slavery at the price of a pair of sandals. A true feminist!
The famous Cleopatra ruled Egypt from 51 B.C. to 30 B.C.
Most popular for her love life and having 2 parallel relationships with both Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, Cleopatra was an unforgettable ruler during the period she ruined Egypt. She raised lots of armies to defeat her brother and other people competing for power. She was technically co-regent with other family members, at first with her father, then with her two younger brothers and at the end with her son. She may not have been the most important figure shown but she was the dominant force behind them all. Cleopatra was a well-educated and clever independent woman who was able to speak various languages.
4. Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I ruled England on a long period from 1558 to 1603.
The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, also known as the Virgin Queen was totally convinced to never marry early in her teens. Then after she came to power after her half-sister Mary, Elizabeth I accepted Protestantism in England. She also defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 and sustained peace in her not so quiet divided country. The queen also made England the home of arts.
3. Empress Dowager Cixi
She was the ruler of China from 1861 – 1908.
Cixi started her career as a concubine of the Xianfeng emperor. What changed her life was seducing his only son. After the Emperor’s death, when her son was 6, Cixi arranged a coup seizing power from a council of elders. During her reign she put an end to all rebellions. She also created Schools for learning foreign languages. During her reign a modern customs service was created. There were constructed Western-style arsenals and the first Chinese foreign service office was installed. She also made an effort to end corruption and recruit talented people.
She ruled Egypt from 1478 B.C. to 1459 B.C.
Hatshepsut was at the same time the fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty and the Egypt’s second woman pharaoh. Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose II when she was only 12 but when he died in 1479 B.C Hatshepsut took over as regent of her stepson. Then she became the co-ruler. As pharaoh Hatshepsut expanded Egyptian market and designed different building projects. The most famous was the Temple of Deir el-Bahri, found on the western Thebes where she would be buried. After her death, her stepson tried to delete all memories of Hatshepsut razing all the monuments made for her and vandalizing statues. It almost resulted in erasing her from history until the 19th century when archeologists first found proofs of the queen’s existence.
1. Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great ruled Russia from 1762 -1796
The Prussian princess used her wits and cunning to take the throne from her husband’s hands, Tsar Peter. During her rule, she enlarged Russia and made a lot of judicial and administrative reforms. She also dabbled in vaccination, created an art collection which formed the base of one of the world’s most beautiful museums, confined operas and children’s fairy tales. She founded the first state-funded school of women and drafted her individual legal code, and created a national system of education.