Facts About Famous Queens

Cleopatra and Famous Queens

There have been some amazing, fearless and brave queens over the ages that have changed history forever. Here we take a look at the most famous queens of all times. You’ll certainly know all about royalty after you’ve read all this!

Let’s start with Cleopatra of Egypt – definitely one of the most famous queens of all time.

Cleopatra is one name that everyone has probably heard of. She was the Queen of Egypt during 50 to 30 B.C. A very long time ago, and she is still famous today. She was known for her amazing beauty at the time, but a coin was found that was 2,000 years old. It showed that she was not as beautiful as she was made out to be. Her picture showed a sharp chin and nose with a flat mouth. No rouged lips or plump cheeks there.

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  • Amazingly Cleopatra came from a Greek heritage and she wasn’t truly Egyptian, but she did speak the language which meant the people ‘forgave’ her.

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  • She came into power at the tender age of 12. Can you imagine ruling a country at 12 years old? That’s quite some task to take on.

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  • She married 2 of her brothers during her lifetime. Can you imagine marrying your brother or sister that would be weird? In those days it was common to marry siblings to keep their power in the family.

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  • Cleopatra had one son by Caesar but he was already married so as custom would have it she had to marry her brother. She was one fierce lady as she eventually killed her brother, and it seems as if she also killed her sister. She didn’t want anybody challenging her son to the throne. She was certainly determined to keep her power. Later, she married Mark Antony and had twins with him, they then had another baby.

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  • You could see her from a mile away because of the make she wore around her eyes. The reason that she wore such distinct make up is that they believed that make up protected the eyes against eye ailments and other illnesses. So it wasn’t just for show. It must have taken her ages to get ready in the mornings.

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  • Apparently she owned a perfume factory. She obviously liked to smell good. To win over Mark Antony she used a ship full of incense. Sounds strange right? But in Egypt scents were very much part of their tradition. He obviously quite liked the smell as she did win him over in the end.

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  • Very sadly the love of her life Mark Antony committed suicide. This was too much for her, and she did exactly the same thing. But no one is entirely sure how she did it. There are two theories, one that she let a poisonous snake bite her and the other was that she swallowed lots of poison. Rather scary.

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  • Her actual title was Cleopatra VII, and she was the last pharaoh of Egypt. Some say that this role should have actually been her son’s as Rome took control of Egypt after her death.

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  • Cleopatra has been the subject of many films, with famous actresses being her. In 2011 Elizabeth Taylor’s wig that she wore in the 1963 film, “Cleopatra” was valued at $11,000 in an auction. That is a lot of money for a wig. Who would buy a wig for that amount of money?

She certainly had an interesting life and lives on today as a famous icon.

Queen Anne Boleyn of England

This is one name you’re sure to recognize, the lady that broke the powerful Catholic Church to become the Queen of England. Henry VIII was so in love with her that he executed his first wife and broke away from the Church of Rome to marry her. This was a shock to the entire nation. So what was she all about?

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  • Anne was born in 1501 at Hever Castle in England to parents Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard. They were a highly respected family at the time.

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  • Anne loved animals! Her favorites were dogs and birds and her most favorite pet was a Greyhound.

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  • She was a lady who liked to dress up and look her best. She had gorgeous dresses and jewelry.  Her favorite piece of jewelry was her ‘B’ necklace; it was strung with pearls and had a large gold ‘B’ on it with 3 pearls hanging underneath.

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  • Anne met King Henry VIII at court. She was displayed in front of the king, as her family hoped he would like her. This was the best way to get some extra brownie points in a family. Imagine if your parents put you in front of a king or queen hoping they’d like you when you were older.

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  • King Henry had taken a liking to Anne’s sister Mary at one time, but as soon as he laid eyes on Anne, well as they say, the rest is history.

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  • Anne eventually fell deeply in love with King Henry VIII as he did with her, and he executed his first wife, Katherine of Aragon to be with his beloved. How cruel they were.

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  • She and Henry eventually tied the knot secretly in 1533 and Anne was already pregnant. King Henry VIII made plans for a big celebration as he was excited about Anne giving him a son. When a little girl was born, Elizabeth, he was not pleased at all and cancelled all the celebrations. Poor child.

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  • None of the English people liked Anne, especially in Henry’s Court. They plotted and schemed of ways to bring her down as the Queen. The courtiers accused her of all sorts of wicked things which Henry believed.

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  • Anne was charged with a number or horrible things and she was executed in 1536. You definitely had to be careful what you did in those days, they were a bit cruel.

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  • Anne and Henry’s daughter Elizabeth I, went on to be Queen of England in 1558 and reigned for 44 years.

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  • There is a myth that Anne had 6 fingers on one hand. How weird would that be? You’d probably be able to do a lot more! Her body was found in Victorian times, and she only had 5 fingers.

 Queen Mary I of England

Queen Mary I of England was a frightening Queen and was actually known as ‘Bloody Mary’ because of the violent way in which she carried out executions due to religion! Apparently she burnt over 280 people at the stake. One fierce lady that you would definitely have to listen to! Be thankful for that strict teacher if you have one, she is surely better than this fearsome lady.

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  • Queen Mary I was the daughter of King Henry VIII, bit he disowned her after he separated from her mother, Katherine of Aragon. The King ensured that the marriage wasn’t actually legal so that Mary wasn’t his daughter; this meant that she didn’t have the status to be heir to the throne. He made this happen by separating from the Roman Catholic Church. This made Mary mighty mad indeed!

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  • Because of this she became very loyal to Rome.

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  • When her father died she finally became second in line to the throne, after her half-brother Edward, who was very sick.

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  • Edward died in 1553 but Mary certainly had a fight on her hands to take the throne. The people now followed a different religion and they didn’t want a Catholic ruling. Lady Jane Grey was given the title, but only for 9 days. She probably was only just beginning to understand what she needed to do and off she had to go again.

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  • By July 19 Jane Grey was gone and Mary was now the Queen.

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  • So how did she get her title of ‘Bloody Mary’? It all started when she actually had her cousin executed; she wasn’t prepared to have any more power struggles. She really wanted to stay Queen it seems.

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  • She was still rather upset with her father for breaking from the Roman Catholic Church and her reign against people who weren’t Catholic started. She got her men to go out in force and execute anyone who was Protestant. Rather mean to say the least.

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  • Who would think that royalty would love gambling, well Mary was a big fan. Obviously she had loads of money so she used to bet huge sums of money. But she didn’t always win. In 1540 in a bowls game, which she always placed bets on, she had to ask her servants for money to pay for her lost bet. They refused, so in turn she refused to give them breakfast the next morning. Poor things must have been starving!

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  • Mary loved strawberries and cream. Who doesn’t? She used to get loads and loads of them for gifts.

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  • She married Philip II of Spain, in 1554, and this choice was very unpopular even with her supporters.

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  • For Philip’s royal entry into London Mary organized lots of pageants to be celebrate. One was an acrobat which balanced on the weathercock of St Paul’s Cathedral. Something went wrong and he landed up dead after his act. Perhaps an acrobat isn’t the best thing to be when you grow up.

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  • When Philip realized that she couldn’t bear a child, off he went and he hardly ever saw her. She died at the age of 42.

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  • Elizabeth I took the throne.

Queen Elizabeth I of Britain

Another Queen that you’ve probably heard of that was the daughter of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. Read on for some fascinating information about her.

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  • King Henry VII married Jane Seymour and she had a son. This was cool as Elizabeth now had a brother, Prince Edward. He was next in line for the throne followed by Mary I. Elizabeth certainly didn’t ever think she would become Queen.

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  • Edward became King in 1547 after Henry VIII’s death and he died in 1553.

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  • As we know Lady Jane Grey was chosen to be Queen for nine days! Wonder what she did to deserve that? She was executed and Mary took the helm.

 

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  • There was a rebellion against Queen Mary, and she locked up Elizabeth for 8 weeks as she thought that she knew all about this plan.

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  • Elizabeth became Queen in 1558 when Mary died. Everyone thought that Elizabeth would be a great queen and they believed that she would bring peace to the land.

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  • She was the first and only Queen who was not married who ruled over England. This also meant that she kept complete power of the monarchy, but it was unusual in those days for a Queen not to have a King. Clever woman indeed.

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  • She was known for being a highly educated woman; she’d probably listened hard in school!

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  • Elizabeth is possibly best known for her defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. She was also known for allowing her subjects that she ruled over to practice any religion they liked, even though she turned England into a Protestant state.

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  • She also loved jewels, clothes and dancing, just like her mother Anne.

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  • But danger lurked as The Catholic Church said Henry and Anne Boleyn had not been lawfully married. So Elizabeth wasn’t England’s Queen – Mary Queen of Scots was. Wow, all the plotting and scheming that went on was unbelievable.

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  • In 1568 Mary Queen of Scots fled to England. Elizabeth kept her a prisoner so she couldn’t threaten her reign as Queen.

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  • In 1586 yet another plot was uncovered. The plotters were arrested. Letters were found and linked Mary Queen of Scots to the plot. She was executed in 1587. Boy you had to be careful in those days!

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  • In 1588 King Philip of Spain sent the Armada to attack England. He wanted to get rid of Elizabeth as Queen. The Spanish and English ships fought bravely, but as luck would have it a terrible storm scattered the Spanish ships. Phew, Elizabeth had escaped to safety once again.

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  • Elizabeth I died on 24 March 1603.

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  • Now here is something that might shock you…she used to pick her black teeth in public, yuk, and she often swore and spat. Not sure she would be the nicest lady to meet. She even threw shoes at people when she got angry.

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots was often confused with Mary I, Queen of England, but she was a Scottish Princess and was actually the Queen of Scotland and France. Take a read of these awesome facts about her.

  • Mary Stuart, who was to become Mary, Queen of Scots, was the third child of King James V and Mary of Guise, the rulers of Scotland. Both of her brothers had died before she was born in 1542 and her father died only a week after her birth. How awful to not know your father or your brothers. So Mary was named Queen when she was just 6 days old. Can you imagine at 6 days old being a queen. Clearly she couldn’t make the decisions!

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  • After her father’s death it wasn’t a very happy time for Scotland. They were invaded by England in 1547 who then took occupation of the country. Because of this Scotland and France stuck together.

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  • So when Mary was just five, the Scottish court arranged for her marriage to the four-year old heir to the throne of France, the future King Francis II. She was sent to France immediately. Can you imagine having a wife or husband chosen for you at that age?

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  • When she got to France though, Mary grew up with her future husband and they became the greatest of friends. Mary had a good education and she was very clever. She was also very popular and a cool person to hang out with.

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  • At the young age of fifteen, Mary married Francis in 1558. In November Mary I, Queen of England died. Mary Queen of Scots decided to try and make a claim to be the Queen of England because she was the great-granddaughter of King Henry VII, and because Elizabeth wasn’t really the legitimate daughter of King Henry VIII.

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  • Of course Queen Elizabeth I took the throne and Mary’s claim to the throne ultimately landed up in disaster for her.

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  • Mary led a very active life and used to dress up as a stable boy and ride round the streets of Edinburgh at night. A cool escape from heavy royal duties.

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  • She also had a very fiery personality, but was very generous and sociable.

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  • They became the rulers of France in July 1559. After taking the throne, Mary’s husband ruled for a little over a year, dying in December 1560. In 1561, Mary returned to Scotland, and wanted to get all her power back there.

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  • In her bid to regain strength and power, Mary married Henry, Lord Darnley in July 1565. But this marriage was just to try and strengthen her claim to the title of the Queen of England. He was related to English royalty.  But the marriage didn’t quite land up how she had hoped and didn’t give her the throne she so wanted.

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  • Mary gave birth to a son in June 1566, but she was never close to her husband Darnley again. She became close to the Earl of Bothwell. In February 1567 Darnley was killed due to an explosion in his house. Quite quickly Mary and the Earl of Bothwell were under suspicion for plotting his murder.

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  • Mary was the first woman to play golf in Scotland and she was definitely frowned upon while she was seen on the St Andrews Golf Course just days after Darnley’s murder. That can’t have looked too good.

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  • Mary allowed herself to be kidnapped by Bothwell, and then married him in May 1567. This led to war and Mary was captured and had to give up the throne. After a year she managed to escape her prison and went into England in 1568.

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  • Mary’s move into England made Queen Elizabeth I a little jittery to say the least! She saw her as a threat to the throne and imprisoned her for nearly 18 years.

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  • Mary was always up to no good trying to plot against the Queen. In 1586 the English government heard of a new plot and this time there was evidence that Mary was planning to kill Elizabeth. She was found guilty and was put to death in 1587.

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  • Purple thistles grow on the site of where she was put to death, and they are called “Queen Mary’s tears’.

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What an interesting and bumpy ride she had in life.

Queen Marie Antoinette of France

Queen Marie may be infamous because of her statement about ‘cake’. She is supposed to have asked why people were rioting, and when they told her they were starving and didn’t even have bread, she said ‘Let them eat cake’. Nobody knows if this is really true, but she is well known for this today. But the truth was that really held the power in France and influenced all his decisions. Read on for more fascinating information about this interesting Queen.

  • She was born on 2 November 1755 in Vienna, Austria. She was the 15th child of Francis I, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Empress Maria Theresa. Can you imagine having 15 brothers and sisters?

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  • In those days you definitely didn’t get to choose who you married and the same applied to Marie Antoinette. Her father agreed with King Louise XIIIII of France that his daughter would marry his grandson. At the age of 14 she was shipped off to France forever and married sixteen year old Louis-Auguste.

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  • In 1774 Louis-Auguste became King of France and Navarre, which of course meant that Marie Antoinette became Queen.

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  • Marie Antoinette had a happy go lucky nature which at first the French loved. On the other hand, her husband was very quiet.

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  • Marie Antoinette was a very free spirit and found it hard to carry out all the duties that were expected of her; people had to watch her get out of bed and dress her, she was meant to meet loads of people as well as many other duties. Wouldn’t you also get tired of all these duties that you were meant to do. So what happened? Being a free spirit she decided to do her own thing, which meant spending lots of money. She had hunting parties, she gambled, held sleigh races, parties and fetes. The people frowned on this and she became quite unpopular.

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  • She waited quite a long time to have children, and she had a daughter in 1778 and sons in 1781 and 1785.

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  • She was rather famous for her tall hairdos which were normally about 4 feet (1.2 meters) high. How in the world did she carry that on her head!

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  • While the people were starving she decided that she needed a palace in Versailles. So she built one which was like a fairy-tale village. As you can imagine the people were not too impressed at all.

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  • One year she ordered 90 dresses from a dress maker. So she had a different dress for 3 months of the year. That’s incredible.

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  • She became a hated figure in France. All the people were poor and she still carried on with her expensive ways. Even though her husband agreed that changes should be made, he just couldn’t stand up to her.

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  • Everyone became seriously angry and they didn’t want a King who had all the power, they wanted the people to have rights that were respected. And so the French Revolution started in 1789.

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  • Rioting mobs gathered outside the Palace at Versailles. The royals fled to a palace in Paris where they stayed for 2 years. They were like prisoners in their own home, or should we say palace, as it wasn’t exactly safe for them to leave.

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  • Marie Antoinette arranged for them to escape in 1791. They left Paris secretly and were going to slip into Austria, but no, that wasn’t meant to be. They were captured and sent right back to where they came from.

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  • Even bigger riots took place in 1792. The monarchy was dead and the royal family was arrested and sent to prison.

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  • In September France was declared a republic and they were free from the royals.

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  • King Louis 16th was convicted of treason and executed in 1793.

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  • Marie Antoinette awaited a terrible fate. Herself and her three children remained in prison and were moved somewhere else. The living conditions were terrible and she became really ill. Her trial lasted for twenty hours straight. Can you stay awake for that amount of time? Anyway, she was found guilty and executed in 1793 at the age of 37.

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  • Guess what her last words were? “I’m sorry; I did not mean to do it.” But this wasn’t because of what she’d been accused of, she’d stood on the executioner’s foot.

What a lady this Queen seemed to be, once loved, and then hated for her love of the good things in life while the rest of France lived in poverty!

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia

Catherine the Great was one lady who you needed to listen to. She was a powerful ruler of Russia. Read on for some fascinating and amazing facts about this German princess who married the Russian Arch Duke at the age of 16.

  • Catherine the Great was the longest ruling and definitely the most famous female ruler of Russia. She ruled for 34 years. That is a long time to have so much power.

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  • Catherine the Great wasn’t very happily married. She married Peter III, who was in line to be the Tsar of Russia. The wedding was arranged by her family, as most royal marriages were. It was all about power and status. At least today we can choose who we want to marry. They didn’t get on at all, and this was an understatement to say the least. She wrote memoirs and these showed that she was very unhappy.

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  • So if you’re very unhappily married what do you do as a powerful lady? Well you get rid of your husband of course. Catherine worked with other people to remove Peter from power. You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her, that’s for sure. This little move made her the Empress of Russia.

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  • 8 days after he was dethroned Peter landed up dead, and was apparently killed by Alexei Orlov, the younger brother of a man who helped Catherine pull off the coup. There were rumors that she might have had something to do with his death, but nothing could be proved as there was very little evidence.

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  • As Catherine wasn’t of the royal bloodline, she couldn’t be called “tsarina,” which means the wife or widow of a Tsar. She stuck to her previous name of ‘empress regent’ of Russia. Years later, her son, Paul tried to get rid of his mother from the throne, as he had the emperor’s bloodlines in his veins. But nothing came of it, and she remained in power. Imagine your own son doing that to you? Make sure you’re super kind to your parents.

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  • During her reign, Catherine the Great never remarried. She only married again after her rule was over.

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  • This powerful ruler had some crazy court rules. Punishment was minor except for one thing; visitors were to keep all disagreements behind closed doors and to never, ever discuss them outside the court. If you did this you would be banished. Another rule she had was that all weapons needed to be left outside, also that you couldn’t act in a formal military style, you had to speak quietly, you couldn’t sigh, you couldn’t yawn and no boring people were allowed! You also had to take part in any games that she wanted to play and you couldn’t drink so much that you weren’t able to leave by yourself. Just hope you weren’t boring to her, otherwise you’d probably get kicked out, or never go to her court tired. It’s hard to hide a yawn.

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  • Catherine died in bed at the age of 67 less than 12 hours after suffering a massive stroke on November 16th, 1796.

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  • Did you know that Catherine the Great’s name wasn’t actually Catherine?  Her name was actually Sophie Friederike Auguste, and on top of that she wasn’t actually Russian. How in the world did she come to rule this land? Well we’ll find out.

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  • She was born in Prussia, which actually had no relation to Russia, even though they sound the same. The Kingdom of Prussia overlapped Germany and Poland.

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This interesting lady had a long and successful reign over Russia and achieved great things. Rumors have followed her to this day, but many know what a great and powerful lady she really was.

Queen Victoria of England

Queen Victoria was an amazing lady who came into power when she was just 18 and was the longest serving monarch in British History at 63 years, from 1837 to 1901! She thought she could do what she wanted but soon found out that wasn’t the case. She was only 18 after all!

  • Her empire was huge, huge, huge covering 14.2 million square miles (22,852,684 square kilometers). That’s more than twice the size of the US. She controlled six continents and countries such as Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, and Sudan plus many more. That is one heck of a lot of land to rule over. She ruled about 458 million people during her reign. That is one seriously powerful lady.

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  • She did some really cool things in her time; she got rid of slavery in all the colonies of the British Empire, helped reduce working hours in textile mills and she also gave most of the British men the right to vote. It sounds like she was really cool and liked to help people.

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  • She is probably one of the best known Queens of all times, and a whole period of history was named after her – the Victorian Age. When we talk about ‘Victorian’ buildings or ‘Victorian’ furniture, it just means that it was made when she was Queen.

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  • She was born at Kensington Palace in London on the 24th May 1819. Her full name was Alexandrina Victoria. Her mother called her ‘Drina’. Cute. Her father was Edward, Duke of Kent. He was a son of King George III. She certainly came from a long royal bloodline. Her mother was actually German, Princess Maria Louisa Victoria of Saxe-Coburg.

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  • In 1820 King George III died and Victoria’s uncle became King George IV. King George or his brother King William IV had no children, so Victoria was next in line. She knew one day she would be Queen and ‘I will be good’ she promised.

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  • Surprisingly, even though they lived in a palace Princess Victoria and her mother weren’t very rich. Her uncles didn’t visit too often but her Uncle Leopold; the King of Belgium sent her lots of presents. She must have liked him.

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  • Victoria didn’t go to school, but she was taught by a lady called a governess. She spoke German and English.

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  • She had no friends her own age to play with so she was quite lonely. That wouldn’t be so cool. She played with dolls, was very good at math, music and drawing. She had a pony called Rosa and a dog called Dash.

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  • On her 17th birthday, Victoria met her cousins from Germany, Ernest and Albert. She was very fond of Albert.

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  • King William IV died in June 1837 and Victoria was told early in the morning that she was now Queen. Gosh she met some very important people.

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  • Her coronation lasted for a very long 5 hours. People got tired but one old nobleman tripped and rolled on the floor. Can you believe his name was Lord Rolle? How funny is that?

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  • In 1839 her cousin Albert came to visit, and guess what happened? She asked him to marry her! Awesome huh? They married in 1840.

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  • Over the next couple of years the Queen had nine children. That is a lot of children, but they had the space for all of them, they could run around freely in the royal palaces. What an awesome childhood. Fancy living in a palace for a couple of days. Could be lots of fun.

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  • Albert’s title was Prince Consort, so he was never king. He worked very hard, but for some reason he wasn’t very popular in Britain. He became ill in 1861 and died at the age of 42.

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  • The Queen was very miserable indeed and refused to see anyone. People wore black for a while in mourning, but the Queen wore black for the rest of her life. She obviously loved him very much indeed.

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  • Her eldest son ‘Bertie’ as they called him, the Prince of Wales, liked having a bit too much fun, and the Queen wasn’t all that happy about this. In 1862, he finally married Princess Alexandra of Denmark. He actually saw more of the world than the Queen as she never went outside of Europe.

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  • Eventually all her children married and she had grandchildren and great-grandchildren from almost every royal family in Europe. Wow.
  • Victoria was very small; she was less than 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall. A tiny but mighty lady.

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  • People tried to kill her at least 7 times and she survived all of the attempts.

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  • In 1887 the Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, which meant that she’d been the lady in charge for 50 years. There were huge celebrations. Of course she still went on to her Diamond Jubilee which marked 60 years of her ruling.

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  • In 1900 the Queen visited Ireland but she was old and not too well. She took a last carriage drive on 15 January 1901 and died on the 22nd. She asked for cheerful flowers and not too much black for her funeral.

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  • Her son ‘Bertie’ became King Edward VII and her great-great-granddaughter is Queen Elizabeth II.

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  • When she died she had 37 grandchildren. Imagine babysitting all of those children.

Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II

The lovely lady we know today as the Queen of England is Queen Elizabeth II. Through her parents and grandparents, Elizabeth II can trace her ancestors back long before Elizabeth I!

  • Queen Elizabeth’s father was King George VI. When he died in February 1952 Elizabeth became Queen and her coronation was on 2nd June 1953.

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  • She has probably traveled more miles than any other king of queen in history. She’s been to loads of countries and has met many, many world leaders.

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  • In 2012 she celebrated 60 years of being Queen. She has nearly reigned for as long as Queen Victoria, which was 63 years and 216 days. She hasn’t got long to go to beat this record.

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  • The Queen’s father was Albert, Duke of York. He was the second son of King George V, and Albert changed his name to George when he became King in 1936. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and Princess Elizabeth was their first baby.

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  • Princess Elizabeth’s parents missed her first birthday as they were on a visit to the West Indies, Australia and New Zealand. At that time royal trips took forever. This was way before jet planes.

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  • In 1930 she had a brand new baby to call her sister, Princess Margaret Rose.

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  • Both of the children didn’t go to school but were taught by a governess, as well as other teachers who visited them at their home.

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  • Can you believe that Girl Guides existed at this time? Well it did and the princesses and their friends belonged to a special Girl Guides group called ‘1st Buckingham Palace Company’.

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  • They had fun as kids, and enjoyed stories and games, playing the piano and dressing up for plays. There was no TV in those days so they used to listen to the radio instead. Sometimes their grandfather the King came to play and he used to crawl around the floor with the children on his back. They loved it.

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  • In 1936 King George V died and Elizabeth’s uncle, the Prince of Wales became King Edward VIII. He didn’t want to be king, which is called abdicating, and he went on to marry an American.

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  • Elizabeth’s father now became King George VI. Everyone was in shock and Elizabeth finally realised that one day she would be Queen.

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  • All was not that pleasant as World War II began in 1939. Buckingham Palace was hit by bombs. Many children were sent away to safety but the King and Queen wouldn’t send the princesses to safety in Canada. They spent most of the war at Windsor.

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  • Now this is amazing. In 1945 the 18-year-old Princess Elizabeth joined the women’s branch of the Army. One month later she passed her tests for driving and repairing Army trucks. Big celebrations were held when the war finally ended in May 1945.

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  • In 1947 Princess Elizabeth married her cousin, Prince Philip of Greece.

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  • In 1948 Princess Elizabeth had a son, Charles, who is now Prince of Wales. In 1950 Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, was born.

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  • In the winter of 1951 and 1952 King George was very ill. Elizabeth and Philip set out on a long journey to Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia. Sadly her father died while she was away.

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  • On 7 February 1952, the day after he died, she arrived back in London. She was now Queen.

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  • What does she do all day? Well she actually sits at a desk reading over 300 letters that she gets each day as well as reading loads of official papers.

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  • She works with the Prime Minister to rule the country but has less power than previous Queens.

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  • She hands out medals and awards, and if she touches their shoulders with a sword, then people become a Knight or a Dame. Very cool indeed.

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  • If you meet her, you must call her ‘Your Majesty’ and then ‘Ma’am’. Don’t forget if you do ever get the chance.

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  • The Queen has visited more than 116 countries. That is a lot of traveling, where does she get the time?

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  • Now this is awesome, she has two birthdays. Do you think she gets presents on both days? Her real birthday is on 21st April and her official ‘Queen Birthday’ is in June. To celebrate it, she attends a parade on Horse Guards in London. It is called Trooping the Color.

trooping the color

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  • The Queen likes animals and she owns some race horses, lots of dogs, and royal racing pigeons. Her dogs are all Corgis but she also loves Labradors and Spaniels.

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  • Her official home is at Buckingham Palace, which is one very large palace in London. You can visit Buckingham Palace when she’s not there. She has lots of homes all over but her favorite is definitely Windsor Castle. It is the oldest and biggest castle that’s still used as a home. It would be cool to walk the passages and see how she lives.

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  • The Queen made her first Christmas TV broadcast in 1957 and she still does it today.

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  • The Queen’s head is on every single British coin.

queen's head coin

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  • During her reign as Queen she has sat down 129 times to have her portrait painted. That’s a lot of sitting to do.

This amazing lady still lives on today and by the looks of it, she doesn’t plan on stopping either. Who knows, she might just become the longest reigning Queen of all time.

Now that you’ve learned all about famous queens from history, how about some amazing facts about the world’s most famous kings?