Makare Hatshepsut reclined on her couch, smiling. "The king is dead!" she cried, "And I am alive. Now I will reign supreme!"
"Impossible, beloved," old Senmen warned. "You must marry the boy."
At this Hatshepsut laughed aloud and proceeded to get her own way. Queen by right of birth, the favourite daughter of Thutmosis I, she was married to Thutmosis II to safeguard the throne. Now, thirteen years later, she is expected to marry Thutmosis III, a mere child. She refused and herself took the throne.
Her reign was characterized by great expansion of trade and a time of peace in the land. One dignitary of the queen's entourage stood entirely alone. The chief of chiefs of work, the royal chancellor, the grand steward, Senenmut. Hatshepsut came to live only for him and it was to him she cried as she took the poisoned cup.
Hatshepsut left behind an imperishable monument, the 'Sublime of Sublimes', the temple at Der el-Bahri.
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March 16, 2003
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