• Amina of Zaria

    Amina of Zaria

    Amina (ca. 1533-1610) was a brilliant warrior queen of the northern Nigerian Hausa state of Zaria. She is remembered in song as "a woman as capable as a man," which is rather understating the ...

  • Boudicca

    Boudicca

    Boudicca (first century; died around 61 CE) was one tough lady. This British queen fought a war of resistance against the Romans, and though she lost, her heroism has echoed down through the ages. ...

  • Carlota of Mexico

    Carlota of Mexico

    Empress Carlota (1840-1927) is one of the most intriguing and tragic figures in Mexican history. Born Charlotte of Belgium, she married Archduke Maximilian of Austria when she was only seventeen ...

  • Christina of Sweden

    Christina of Sweden

    If you're unfamiliar with Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689), you might wonder why there are so many pictures of men in our main illustration. It's because Christina liked to dress as a man---not ...

  • Esther

    Esther

    The Book of Esther is a subversive feminist tract masquerading as a Bible story. Okay, that probably isn't true, but by golly, it feels true. Esther, the eponymous heroine, is a courageous young ...

  • Fu Hao

    Fu Hao

    Before Mulan, there was Fu Hao (ca. 1200 BCE). This Shang Dynasty queen was a remarkable figure: not only was she King Wu Ding's wife and the mother of his children, but she was also his chief ...

  • Grace O’Malley

    Grace O’Malley

    To the English, she was Grace O'Malley (1530-1603), notorious pirate. To the Irish, she was Gráinne Ní Mháille, Queen of Clew Bay, and her crews were just collecting taxes from the ships that ...

  • Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut

    Hatshepsut (ca. 1508-1458 BCE) was an extremely successful pharaoh whose reign was full of accomplishments: important trade missions, gorgeous architecture, a booming economy. But the thing she's ...

  • Himiko

    Himiko

    Himiko (3rd century) was the first recorded ruler of Japan. The Chinese chroniclers described her as a great shaman queen who united 30 warring clans, established the imperial throne, sent ...

  • Jezebel

    Jezebel

    The pop culture image of Jezebel bears almost no resemblance to the woman who was queen of Israel in the 9th century BCE. There is nothing remotely sexy about Jezebel in the Bible; she's just mean. ...

  • Lady Six Monkey

    Lady Six Monkey

    Lady Six Monkey (1073-1101) was a Mixtec warrior queen whose story is known from the Mixtec Group Codices. She and her arch nemesis, Lord Eight Deer, loomed large in the legends of Oaxaca for many ...

  • Liliuokalani

    Liliuokalani

    Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917) was the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii. She came to the throne in 1891 as a pro-native, pro-woman advocate for her people, and quickly found herself at ...