Facts We Just Learned About Historical Queens That Made Us Say 'Really?'

Over 800 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Facts We Just Learned About Historical Queens That Made Us Say 'Really?'
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Vote up the facts you're excited to have just learned about historical female rulers.

According to Queen Bey, "Who run the world? Girls." And while there have been far more male rulers throughout history, there have been some seriously cool women who have taken control. One of the most iconic is a contemporary ruler - Elizabeth II, Queen of England - who has been on the throne for over 60 years. But what about the queens who came before her? Famous queens of history like Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, and Catherine the Great? These historical, and mostly great, queens truly paved the way for the women who followed in their footsteps. From their skill sets to familial history, these queens truly left their mark. Clearly, we didn't learn enough about them during history class.

Vote up the facts you wish you would have known earlier about these powerful female leaders.

  • 1
    597 VOTES

    Marie Antoinette Adopted Multiple Orphaned Children

    From Redditor u/marmorset:

    TIL Marie Antoinette had several adopted children including a boy from Senegal whom she freed after he was given to her [as] a slave.

    Context: Marie Antoinette and her husband Louis XVI had difficulty conceiving children. To deal with these perceived shortcomings, she was known to take care of children that were not her own. She took in orphaned children from both a maid of hers and an usher, as well as a boy who was given to her as a gift and would have traditionally been put into slavery.

    597 votes
  • 2
    455 VOTES

    Mary Queen Of Scots Was Really Tall

    From a former Redditor:

    TIL that Mary, Queen of Scots was 5'11" (1.8m) tall in an age when 5'4" (1.63m) was considered tall for a woman.

    Context: Mary, Queen of Scots, was in fact almost 6 feet tall. The average height for women at the time was estimated to be nearly a foot shorter than she stood.

    455 votes
  • 3
    325 VOTES

    There Was A Female Mongol Leader Thought To Be The Most Powerful Female Leader

    From Redditor u/doc_daneeka:

    TIL that the Mongol empire had a female Great Khan (Khatun) for several years, probably the most powerful woman in history.

    Context: Genghis Khan's son was appointed to rule in 1229. However, after the son eventually fell into drunken binges, Genghis Khan's most competent wife essentially took over. Toregene even stayed in power after her husband's passing.

    325 votes
  • 4
    492 VOTES

    Cleopatra's Eyeliner Was Medicinal

    From Redditor u/channel_hopper:

    TIL Cleopatra’s eyeliner wasn't just for beauty purposes - the lead salt found in it helped protect her against eye disease

    Context: Much of the makeup available in ancient Egypt was composed with lead salts. While lead is often seen as a health hazard, recent studies have shown that in small doses around the eyes, it may have had health benefits. According to a lead researcher, the lead compounds in makeup may have been used to promote immune cells and prevent eye illnesses.

    492 votes
  • 5
    407 VOTES

    Queen Victoria Had A Grandchild That Lived Until 1981

    From Redditor u/house_of_ghosts

    TIL that the first grandchild of Queen Victoria to die [did so] in 1866 and the last... in 1981.

    Context: Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, was the daughter of Queen Victoria's youngest son, Leopold. She was the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria. She passed in her home in London on January 4, 1981, at age 97.

    407 votes
  • 6
    357 VOTES

    Elizabeth II Is A Trained Mechanic

    From Redditor u/StaysAwakeAllWeek:

    TIL Queen Elizabeth is a trained mechanic

    Context: Elizabeth II was determined to join the Armed Forces when she was younger, despite her father being reluctant to let her do so. In her duty, she learned to drive vehicles, change tires, and rebuild engines.

    357 votes