Hatshepsut’s parents were Thutmose and Queen Ahmose. Thutmose also had a son by another queen, Thutmose II (Hatshepsut’s half brother and heir to the crown). Hatshepsut and Thutmose II married (it was common practice in ancient Egypt for royal lineages to be “fortified” by marrying close relatives, which is also probably why many of the children of the royal couples during this time did not live past infancy). Anyway, brother and sister got married and had a daughter, but it was a minor wife, Isis, that gave Thutmose II the male heir, Thutmose III.
Unfortunately, Thutmose II died pretty young and Thutmose III was still a young boy, so ruling was not really an option at this point. However, Hatshepsut took control as queen regent.
Hatshepsut started off acting on Thutmose III’s behalf while he grew and learned about how to handle political affairs, but things quickly started to change. Hatshepsut soon started taking it upon herself to make offerings to the gods and other functions only performed by kings.
Soon Hatshepsut had gone from queen to assuming the role of king of Egypt, which meant she had the supreme power of the land. This also meant that she would appear as king in public. She would dress in the full pharaoh garb, complete with fake beard as any other king would wear.
King Hatshepsut was most known for expanding trading relations (there was a very famous expedition to Punt she led) as well as erecting some of the most well-designed temples, and restoring many temples and monuments, as well. This and a rock-solid economy during her reign put her in the history books not only has the first female king/supreme leader of Egypt, but also one of the most successful rulers of ancient Egypt.
But all good things must come to an end, and after reigning for 21 years, Hatshepsut moved over to allow Thutmose III (who by all accounts was “ready” to reign over a decade+ earlier) his time to shine on the thrown. Perhaps that extra waiting period was beneficial for Thutmose III, though, because he became one of the greatest of all the pharaohs, even being referred to as “The Napoleon of Ancient Egypt”. Even though his reign was successful, Thutmose III didn’t seem to like waiting 21 years to rule, because he had Hatshepsut’s name cut away from the temple, signaling some remaining animosity for his step-mom.
Hatshepsut died in her fifties, most likely from bone cancer (medical evidence also suggests she suffered from diabetes, arthritis, and bad teeth). She was put in a tomb with her father, but her father was moved to a different tomb and during that time Hatshepsut was also moved to another tomb (most likely with her wet nurse!)
And so this story ends with the woman king prepared for the afterlife and placed with the woman who breastfed her as a child.
Slightly poetic…and yet still slightly morbid….