The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for over six decades, Queen Victoria reigned for longer than any of her predecessors. Her rule witnessed the vast expansion of the British Empire and ushered in a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were celebrated with great pomp and show.
Remembered for her heroics against the British, the Indian Joan of Arc Rani Lakshmibai remains an icon of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, she is known for leading the fight against the British after her husband’s death. She also inspired the legendary lines Khoob Ladi Mardani.
Empress Dowager Cixi was a Chinese regent and empress dowager. From 1861 to 1908, Cixi served as the de facto supreme ruler of the Qing dynasty. She is credited with overseeing a series of moderate reforms called the Tongzhi Restoration, which helped the regime survive for a long period of time. She also supported military and technological reforms.
Empress Elisabeth of Austria was Queen of Hungary and Empress of Austria from 1854 to 1898, making her the longest-reigning Austrian empress. Often visiting Hungary for its relaxed environment, Elisabeth developed a deep kinship with Hungary, which in turn helped her influence the rise of the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867.
Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas II, was the last Russian tsarina and reigned from 1894 to 1917. She suffered from hemophilia. Alexandra and her entire family were murdered by the Bolshevik revolutionaries. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized her as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer.
Victoria, Princess Royal was the Queen of Prussia and German Empress from 9 March 1888 to 15 June 1888. Victoria, Princess Royal had an opportunity to influence the German Empire's policy, but the death of her husband German Emperor Frederick III, just 99 days after his accession, ruined her opportunity. Victoria has been portrayed in several movies and TV series.
Maria Feodorovna was a Danish princess who married Emperor Alexander III and became Empress of Russia. She was the second daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel. She grew up to be a beautiful and charming woman. She was married to Alexander Alexandrovich, the son of Emperor Alexander II and his first wife Maria Alexandrovna.
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, the only child of the King William III and his second wife, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, became queen at age 10. While she remained neutral during World War I, she went into exile to England during World War II. Her autobiography revealed her religious devotion.
Marie of Romania was a descendant of Queen Victoria and born as the Princess of Edinburgh, before she married King Ferdinand I and became the last queen of Romania. A visual artist and a patron of the Art Nouveau movement, she was also a skilled equestrian and driver.
Daughter of King Edward VII of Norway, Maud of Wales, was known for being a tomboy and had even been nicknamed Harry, after a valiant admiral. She married Prince Carl of Denmark. After Carl took over as King Haakon VII of Norway, Maud became the queen of Norway, too.
Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine was a princess of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt and one of the granddaughters of Queen Victoria. She later married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia and became well-known for her philanthropic activities. Following her husband’s murder, she became a nun and established a Moscow-based convent.
Marie Louise was an Austrian archduchess who reigned as Duchess of Parma from 1814 until her death. The eldest child of Emperor Francis II of Austria and his second wife, Maria Theresa, she grew up during a tumultuous period in the history of Austria. She was married to Napoleon I from 1810 to 1821. She died of pleurisy in 1847.
Olga Constantinovna of Russia was the oldest daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaievich and his wife, Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg. She was married to King George I of Greece and was the queen consort of Greece as his wife. In this role, she became involved in social and charitable work and founded hospitals and schools.
The queen consort of the UK and Hanover by her marriage to King William IV, Adelaide was also the daughter of George I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. She miscarried twice and lost 2 more children as infants, and the royal throne eventually went to Princess Alexandrina Victoria, who later ruled as Queen Victoria.
The daughter of German emperor Frederick III, Princess Sophia of Prussia was also one of the granddaughters of Queen Victoria through her mother. She later became the queen consort of the Hellenes by her marriage to King Constantine I of Greece. Following the National Schism, she spent her life in exile.
Carlota of Mexico served as the Empress consort of Mexico from 10 April 1864 to 15 May 1867. Her husband Maximilian I of Mexico died at the age of 34 and their relationship has inspired many movies, plays, TV series, and novels.
Louise of Hesse-Kassel was the Queen consort of Denmark from 1863 until her demise in 1898. Although she did not take an active part in state affairs, Louise's intelligence, psychological strength, and judgment were of prime importance as King Christian IX was dependent on these qualities of his wife. She also supported 26 different charitable organizations during her reign.
Isabella II was the queen of Spain from 1833 until 1868. She took to the throne shortly before turning 3, according to a Pragmatic Sanction issued by her father before her birth. Her uncles’ resistance caused the Carlist Wars. Spain became a constitutional monarchy under her mother’s regency.
Maria II of Portugal was the Queen of Portugal from 2 May 1826 to 23 June 1828. She reigned as the queen once again from 1834 until her death in 1853 at the age of 34 due to complications during her 11th delivery.
Princess Stéphanie of Belgium became the Crown Princess of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia after her marriage to Crown Prince Rudolf, the son of Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. Following the death of her husband and his mistress in a suicide-murder pact, she married a Hungarian nobleman.
Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova was the daughter of Frederick William III, King of Prussia, and Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She had a difficult childhood and lost her mother when she was just 12. She married Nicholas I, who later reigned as Emperor of Russia. The couple had a happy marriage that lasted till Nicholas’ death in 1855.
Archduchess Marie Valerie was the last child of Franz Joseph I, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, and Empress Elisabeth. Rumors also claimed she was an illegitimate child of Elisabeth and Gyula Andrássy. He marriage to her third cousin, Archduke Franz Salvator, was criticized for not being dynastic.
The Queen Mother of the Ashanti Empire, or modern-day Ghana, Yaa Asantewaa is remembered for leading her country against the British in the War of the Golden Stool. The war began when a British representative sat on the Golden Stool, considered a sacred emblem of the Ashanti people.
Zewditu, a 20th-century Ethiopian empress and the eldest daughter of King Menelik of Shewa, scripted history as the first female head of an internationally recognized African state. She was also the first and last empress regnant of Ethiopia. It’s widely believed, she died of shock 2 days after her husband’s death in battle.
María Cristina De Habsburgo-Lorena is better known as the Spanish king Alfonso XII’s queen consort, who acted as the queen regent after her husband’s death and before her son came of age to rule on his own. Her regency was the longest in the history of Spanish royalty.
It is believed that the Margherita pizza that is a popular dish today was actually first made by a pizza maker in Naples to treat Margherita of Savoy, who had grown tired of the royal gourmet food. The wife of King Umberto I, Margherita was the queen of Italy.
Menen Asfaw ruled as an empress consort of Ethiopia, as the wife of Emperor Haile Selassie. Born into the noble family of Asfaw, Jantirar of Ambassel, she apparently had 3 marriages before she got married to Haile Selassie. She proved to be a trusted advisor to Selassie till her death.