In 1507BC, Hatshepsut was born to Thutmose I and Ahmose. She had only one full sibling, her sister Neferubity, who died during infancy. Hatshepsut’s father also married Mutnofret. With her, he had four sons Wadjmose, Amenose, Thutmose II, and Ramose. However, Wadjmose and Amenose died before adulthood.
At twelve years old, Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose II, who was named as heir when their father had died. They had a daughter together who was named Neferu-Ra. Hatshepsut played the traditional role of queen and principle wife during the reign of Thutmose II. Thutmose II also had a son, Thutmose III, with his minor wife by the name of Iset. Thutmose II died young at around 1479BC, therefore the throne went to his infant son, Thutmose III. Hatshepsut began acting as Thutmose III’s regent, handing affairs of the state until her stepson came of age. After seven years of being a regent, Hatshepsut took on the full power of pharaoh, becoming a co-ruler for Egypt. Hatshepsut named Thutmose II the leader of her armies, and from this, he became a trusted military leader.
Hatshepsut reigned for 21 years during the New Kingdom. As Pharaohs had always been male, Hatshepsut had to defend her legitimacy as pharaoh. She did this by claiming that her father had appointed her as his successor. In order to prove that she was just as capable of acting as pharaoh as a male was, she dressed as a male, wearing a fake beard, a king’s kilt and a crown. She had been portrayed in statues as having a male’s body and clothing.
Egyptian people seem to have accepted this unprecedented behaviour. This is partly due to the fact that she had recruited several loyal advisors. The closest of which was Senenmut. He had risen to power with her and had a close relationship with her. Egyptologists speculate that they had been lovers due to the nature of their relationship. Some evidence includes the fact that Senenmut had two tombs built near hers, depicting a male and a hermaphrodite engaging in an explicit sexual act and Senenmut’s name and image was placed behind one of the doors in the Bjeser-Djeseru.
During her reign, Hatshepsut...