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Ancient Egypt


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A Princess

Hatshepsut was born an Egyptian princess. Her father was the Pharaoh Thutmose I. She grew up in the great royal courts of Egypt with her sister and two brothers. Unfortunately, Hatshepsut's brothers and sister died while they were still young. Now she was an only child.

Without a son to inherit the throne, Thutmose I was worried who would be pharaoh after he died. He decided to name one of Hatshepsut's step-brothers as heir. This is where things get weird. Hatshepsut was married to her step-brother in order to keep the royal line pure. This sounds really strange today, but it was common for Egyptian royalty.

A Queen

Hatshepsut's dad died a short time after she was married and her husband became the pharaoh Thutmose II. Hatshepsut was now queen of Egypt. Thutmose II, however, was a sickly man. He ruled for only a few years before he died. During this time Hatshepsut had begun to take an active role in running the country. Egypt faced a problem, though. Hatshepsut had not had a son with Thutmose II. Now what would Egypt do for a leader?


The only male heir to the throne was a young boy that was Hatshepsut's nephew Thutmose III. He was crowned the new pharaoh of Egypt at a young age, but Hatshepsut was named regent. She would run the country for him.

Becoming Pharaoh

Hatshepsut was a powerful and intelligent leader. There were people in the government who were very loyal to her. After a few years of being regent, she decided to become Pharaoh. She had herself named Pharaoh. She took charge of the country.

Ruling Egypt

Hatshepsut was a gifted and cunning leader. She had to be to remain in power for 20 years as a woman pharaoh. Rather than go to war, she established trade relationships with many foreign countries. Through trade she made Egypt a rich nation. Her time of rule was a time of peace and prosperity.


One way that Hatshepsut stayed in power was to construct many buildings and monuments throughout Egypt. She also had many statues of herself at these sites. This way the people continued to think of her as their leader and pharaoh.

One of her most famous buildings was her mortuary temple at Djeser-Djeseru. This temple is considered one of the great achievements in Egyptian architecture. It was similar to the classical architecture that the Greeks would develop around a thousand years later and marked a major turning point in Egyptian architecture.

Temple of Hatshepsut
Temple of Hatshepsut by Gocht

Dressing like a Pharaoh

In order for people to accept her as pharaoh, Hatshepsut began to dress like a pharaoh. She wore the pharaoh's headdress with a cobra. She even wore a fake beard and a short kilt like the men wore.


After 22 years of rule Hatshepsut died. No one is sure how she died, but it may have been cancer. Thutmose III then came into full power as Pharaoh by himself. He would later become known as a great Pharaoh in his own right.

Interesting Facts about Hatshepsut Activities

Take a ten question quiz about this page. More information on the civilization of Ancient Egypt:

Timeline of Ancient Egypt
Old Kingdom
Middle Kingdom
New Kingdom
Late Period
Greek and Roman Rule

Monuments and Geography
Geography and the Nile River
Cities of Ancient Egypt
Valley of the Kings
Egyptian Pyramids
Great Pyramid at Giza
The Great Sphinx
King Tut's Tomb
Famous Temples
Egyptian Food, Jobs, Daily Life
Ancient Egyptian Art
Entertainment and Games
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
Temples and Priests
Egyptian Mummies
Book of the Dead
Ancient Egyptian Government
Women's Roles
Hieroglyphics Examples
Amenhotep III
Cleopatra VII
Ramses II
Thutmose III

Inventions and Technology
Boats and Transportation
Egyptian Army and Soldiers
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History >> Biography >> Ancient Egypt for Kids

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