What was everyday life like for Egyptian royals? In a word: busy. Though they lived in the lap of luxury and enjoyed a standard of living that most other ancient Egyptians didn't, Egyptian royalty generally didn't have much downtime.
From around 3150 to 30 BC, Egypt was ruled by kings and queens called pharaohs. As supreme heads of a complex kingdom, pharaohs spent their days overseeing the religious, economic, cultural, and political life of Egypt. But pharaohs didn't just have to manage Egypt's affairs - they also had to manage the affairs of their families. The life of the royal family was undeniably political.
What they lacked in personal time, they made up for in privilege. The high, unrivaled status of pharaohs in Egypt meant that they got the best of everything, from fine clothes to the richest cuts of meat. So even though pharaohs kept busy, it was still generally good to be the king.
You Are Informed Of The Kingdom's Woes Every Morning
Since pharaohs were the supreme rulers of Egypt, they needed to stay informed about everything that went on in the kingdom. They usually spent their mornings receiving guests in audiences and dealing with administrative matters. The pharaoh relied on a huge network of officials to help manage affairs.
Conducting official business wasn't a choice - according to Diodorus, these tasks were mandates.
Whenever You Leave The Palace, You Are Carried In A Sedan Chair And Kept Cool By Royal Fan-Bearers
Whenever pharaohs stepped out of the palace complex, they traveled in sedan chairs carried by servants. Royals had the added luxury of a traveling air-conditioning unit in the form of royal fan-bearers.
On their outings, pharaohs were typically accompanied by a band of more than 50 people. This included servants, guards, and family members.
You Go To The Temple To Perform A Daily Ritual
As high priests that claimed divine authority, pharaohs served as the intermediary between humans and gods. Their days were occupied by a broad swath of duties, such as making religious appointments, ordering the building of temples, and participating in ceremonies.
According to the Greek historian Diodorus, pharaohs made daily visits to the temple to become anointed and offer a sacrifice to the gods. Sacrifices were probably symbolic and aimed to maintain order in the kingdom. Even if pharaohs were not always physically present at religious ceremonies and rituals, their statues in temples ensured that they were at least symbolically present.
Unlike Commoners, You Consume The Most Luxurious Food And Alcohol
Egyptian commoners mainly subsisted on bread, beer, vegetables, and fish, but royals enjoyed a more decadent diet. Royal banquets might include dishes like goose, bull, and fresh fruits like dates and figs. The royal court's alcohol of choice was wine, which was beyond the means of most Egyptians.
This lavish diet wasn't without its drawbacks, however. All of the rich food that pharaohs consumed likley had a negative impact on their health.