Became the constitutional monarch of 16 countries and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England after her coronation in 1953. She became the longest reigning monarch in British history.
Her reign as the Queen of United Kingdom is known as the Victorian Era, for it was her stern and rigid view on morality, and the urge to watch United Kingdom ascend and become supreme and powerful on the world stage that helped define the age! Queen Victoria was one of the most prolific monarchs of the country. She became the longest reigning monarch in England, British and Scottish monarchy, a record that stands till date. It was during her succession to throne that the United Kingdom experienced a massive expansion in almost every sphere - be it technological, communication or industrial. The underground railways that have become an integral part of British transportation system have its foundation dating back to the Victorian era. Similarly, loads of bridges, roads and rail lines that are present today first came into form under her rule. Industrial and technological feats apart, she worked to transform the face of United Kingdom by eradicating poverty and diminishing class difference. The literacy rate also experienced a massive rise during her reign.
Elizabeth I was undisputedly one of the greatest monarchs of England who ruled the country from 1558 to 1603. Popularly known as the Virgin Queen, her 45 years of reign marked a glorious epoch in English history. Contrastingly, when Elizabeth took over as the Queen of England, the country was at its weakest self”economically bankrupt, religiously torn and politically endangered by the greater powers of France and Spain. Furthermore, her position itself was vulnerable given the fact that the world awaited her marriage and birth of her progenies to reinstate her husband/child as the actual ruler of the nation. Nevertheless, Elizabeth I had other plans. Instead of bowing down to the pressure, Elizabeth singularly ruled from the front. Her shrewd intelligence, sharp wit and headstrong determination helped her sail England through the tough times. She not just established the Church of England securing a compromise between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, but helped England bag one of the greatest military victories against Spain by defeating the Spanish Armada. It was also during Elizabethan era that English literature flourished at its best, led by the giants William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and Edmund Spenser. Overall, she was a legendary ruler who led England towards peace and stability.
Queen of Castile and Leon who helped to reorganize the governmental system and brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years. She supported and financed Christopher Columbus' voyages to the Americas.
Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France and Navarre from 1774 to 1792. She is considered a major historic figure and is said to have been the biggest force in provoking the French Revolution. Born as the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa, she was married to Louis-Auguste who ascended the throne as <a title='Louis XVI' href='/famous/louis-xvi.htm'>Louis XVI</a> of France in 1774. Marie, who became the Dauphine of France upon her marriage was conferred the title of Queen of France and Navarre when her husband became the king. When she was newly married into the royal household, the French people adored her for her beauty and charms. However the general public sentiments towards her began to change when she was suspected of harboring sympathies for France's enemies and for her utter lack of concern for the common people's welfare. The public's outrage at the queen increased at her extravagance and ignorance which ultimately led to the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. The French common public was demanding that the monarchy be brought down and that the unpopular king and his equally hated wife be brought to Paris for trial. After monarchy was overthrown, both the king and the queen were sentenced to death and executed at the guillotine within months after each other.
Mary I was the Queen of England and Ireland from 1553 until 1558. Daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, she was the only child of the couple to survive past infancy. Inability to produce a male heir led King Henry to annul his marriage to Catherine, which in turn made Mary I the illegitimate child of the King. As such, she was removed from the court. A chain of events led to her succession after the death of her half-brother, Edward VI. In 1553, she was crowned as the Queen of England. After her appointment, Mary married Prince Philip in order to prevent her half-sister, Elizabeth from direct line of succession. However, the marriage was largely unpopular. During her reign, Mary established the Roman Catholic faith and brought about a strict Heresy law which persecuted people of the protestant faith. This mass persecution brought about much discontent amongst her subjects and gained her the nickname, ˜Bloody Mary'. Adding to the woes was military losses in France, poor weather, and failed harvests during her reign. With no child of her own, Mary, upon her death, was succeeded by her sister Elizabeth as the Queen of England.
Became Queen of Scotland when she was only 6 days old because she was the only surviving legitimate child of King <a title='James V' href='/famous/james-v.htm'>James V</a> of Scotland. She was imprisoned and forced to abdicate her throne in 1567.
Wife of King George VI and the mother of <a title='Queen Elizabeth II' href='/famous/elizabeth-ii.htm'>Queen Elizabeth II</a> who was the queen consort of the United Kingdom from 1936 to 1952. She provided moral support to the British public during World War II.
Popular monarch who reigned over the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980. Indonesia and Suriname both became independent from her country while she was in power.
Queen Rania of Jordan, also known as Rania Al Abdullah, is the Queen consort of Jordon. She is a strong progressive female voice in the Arab world and a powerful advocate for education, health and women's rights. Using her position as the queen of Jordan, she advocates for many social causes, including the rights of women and children, public health, environmental concerns, and the development of strong Jordanian communities. Since her marriage, she has founded a variety of charities to campaign for various sectors of society in Jordan and beyond. She has also been particularly vocal about the importance of cross cultural dialogue to nurture greater understanding, tolerance and acceptance across the world. She makes effective use of social networking sites in order to promote intercultural dialogue by calling on young people around the world to engage in a global dialogue to dismantle stereotypes of Muslims and the Arab world. She is a leading humanitarian and is working towards the establishment of new reforms for education and public health. A profound supporter of cross cultural talks, an insightful promoter of women rights, she continues to serve as a source of motivation for social change and world peace.
Born Margrethe Alexandrine Porhildur Ingrid, this member of the Danish House of Glücksburg was crowned Queen of Denmark at the age of thirty-one.
Catherine of Aragon was the Queen of England who ruled from 1509 to 1533. She was merely three years old when her fate as the future Queen of England was sealed following her engagement to Prince Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the English throne. Despite her marriage to Arthur in 1501, tragedy struck her early on in life. To start off with, Arthur died an untimely death. She was then betrothed to Henry, Duke of York who went on to become <a title='King Henry VIII' href='/famous/henry-VIII.htm'>King Henry VIII</a>. Following her marriage to the King, she was instated as the Queen of England. She proved to be a competent regent while <a title='King Henry VIII' href='/famous/henry-VIII.htm'>King Henry VIII</a> was campaigning in France. But tragedy struck her life yet again by mid-1520's as <a title='King Henry VIII' href='/famous/henry-VIII.htm'>King Henry VIII</a> was enamoured by Anne Boleyn and grew to be greatly dissatisfied with his marriage to Catherine as she did not give birth to a male heir. What followed was a controversial string of events involving King's plea for annulment of his marriage to Catherine, Catherine's defence argument, Pope's verdict, King's secret marriage to Anne Boleyn and Catherine's banishment.
Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of English King, Henry VIII, and consequently was the Queen of England from 6 January to 9 July 1540. She was born into a German aristocratic family, which though opposed to Papal authority but was not Protestant. Her father, John III, was the Duke of Julich, Cleves, Berg. Anne of Cleves, unlike Henry VIII's previous wives, didn't possess the acumen or charm of clever women. She was instead a young lady from Rhineland whose knowledge of English was limited. Her marriage was arranged keeping a political alliance in mind. Her brother, the Duke of Cleves, was a leader of Protestants in Western Germany. <a title='King Henry VIII' href='/famous/henry-VIII.htm'>King Henry VIII</a>'s minister, Thomas Cromwell, decided this alliance was necessary because of the powerful attack by Roman Catholic groups. Her marriage to <a title='King Henry VIII' href='/famous/henry-VIII.htm'>King Henry VIII</a> was solemnized on 6 January 1540. However, Henry wasn't satisfied with Anne as he deemed her unattractive and naÃ¯ve. When the political motive behind the marriage didn't materialize, the marriage was annulled in July 1540. Referring to her as the King's Beloved Sister, she was given a large income and stayed in England until her death.
The wife of <a title='King Willem-Alexander' href='/famous/kingwillem-alexander-ofthenetherlands.htm'>King Willem-Alexander</a> of the Netherlands, Queen Maxima was born Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti. Prior to joining the Dutch royal family, she pursued careers in finance and education.
Born with the titles of Princess Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of the Netherlands, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld, and Princess of Orange-Nassau, she became Queen of the Netherlands in 1980 and reigned until 2013.
Maria Theresa is known as the Empress who ruled the Holy Roman Empire and was the de facto ruler of much of Europe throughout her lifetime. As the eldest surviving child of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, Maria was not originally expected to ever inherit her father's throne. But when her father failed to produce any male children, Maria was formally trained in statecraft and the arts of governance. When her prospective groom, Leopold Clement, died from an illness, she eventually married his younger brother. After Maria's father died, several neighboring kings took the opportunity to invade her lands. Although she started off with a depleted treasury and limited leadership experience, Maria Theresa soon proved her mettle by doubling the empire's income and raising a large standing army. After a series of disastrous wars destroyed half of Europe, Maria found that her empire had emerged relatively unscathed. Using her intellect and education, Maria initiated a renaissance in her empire and implemented several important educational and judicial reforms. After successfully marrying off her surviving children to the royal houses of Europe, Maria Theresa died peacefully in her bed, one of the most powerful female monarchs of the early modern era.
The wife of King Juan Carlos I of Spain and the mother of King <a title='Felipe VI of Spain' href='/famous/felipe-ofspain.htm'>Felipe VI of Spain</a>, Queen Sofia of Spain was born Princess Sophia Margarita Victoria Frederika of Greece and Denmark.
Swedish royalty who assumed the throne as Queen Consort of Sweden in June 1976. In 2011, she set a record being the longest-serving Swedish Queen in history.
Born into the Italian aristocracy, she became Queen Consort of France upon the 1547 coronation of her husband, Henry II. A well-known patron of the arts and architecture, she commissioned the construction of the Tuileries Palace in Paris.
Wife of King Henry VI of England and Queen consort of England, who ruled the kingdom during her husband's fits of insanity. She reigned from 1445 to 1461 and then again for a brief period between 1470 and 1471.
Rani Lakshmibai, famously known as ˜Jhansi Ki Rani', was one of the leading warriors in India's First War of Independence, which was fought in 1857. Her struggles in life started at the age of four, when her mother passed away. Thereafter she was raised solely by her father along with other soon-to-be revolutionaries and she grew to be an independent, courageous girl. When she was just twenty-four-years old, her husband, the Maharaja of Jhansi died but she didn't lose her courage and took over his responsibilities. When the British company annexed the territories of Jhansi with treachery, she revolted against them with the help of other Indian rebellion leaders. She surprised the British by showing extraordinary fighting spirit and valor in battles fought at Jhansi, then Kalpi and lastly at Gwalior. She inspired many generations of freedom fighters in India, thus becoming immortal in history. The valor and brave death she chose was an inspiration to the patriots such as Shahid Bhagat Singh and to all revolutionaries from Veer Savarkar to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. She became a national heroine and is seen as the epitome of female bravery in India.
Mary II was the daughter of former King <a title='James II' href='/famous/james-ii.htm'>James II</a>, who served as the joint sovereign of England, Scotland and Ireland along with her husband King William. Being the eldest child of James and Anne, Mary II since young became second in line to the throne, after her father. Following the death of her uncle, her father stepped up as the King of England but his pro-Catholic policies made him an unpopular ruler so much so that the opposition influenced William and Mary to depose him off. James exile created a vacancy at the topmost order which was duly filled by Mary as queen regnant. However, Mary despised political life and wanted her husband William to take control. It was due to this that a Declaration of Indulgence was signed which made both William and Mary joint sovereigns. It was under their leadership that the significantly important Bill of Rights was passed that marginalized the sovereign powers. Though William controlled the rule mostly, it was in his absence that Mary's role as queen regnant came to light. She was powerful, firm and effective ruler. She was capable of taking important decisions but mostly turned to William for either approval or advice. Other than this, Mary was deeply religious and a pious woman. She attended prayers twice daily and actively involved herself in Church affairs
Margrethe II is the Queen of Denmark and also the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and the Commander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence. She has been the queen since her father King Frederick IX passed away in 1972. She was born into the House of Glucksburg as the eldest child of Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. She studied at the Girton College, Cambridge, Aarhus University, and the London School of Economics. Despite being a woman, she succeeded her father upon his death as a constitutional amendment in 1953 allowed female succession to the throne. She became the first female monarch of the country since Margrethe I, who ruled over the Scandinavian kingdoms in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. As of 2018, she has spent 46 years on the Danish throne and is the second-longest reigning Danish monarch, after her ancestor Christian IV, who ruled in the 16th and 17th centuries. During her reign, she has received numerous honors. She is the 118th knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain and also the 7th Lady of the Order of the Garter. She is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess of Wales Regiment in the UK as well.
The last monarch and only Queen of the Hawaiian Islands whose reign lasted from 1891 to 1893. She was also an accomplished author and songwriter who played several instruments including the piano and the ukele.