What Do You Know About These Famous Queens?


By: Staff

7 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

MIGHTY beyond words, queens sit at the very apex of royal power. These women, through fortune of birthright or marriage, have ascended to the loftiest heights possible, and theirs is both the privilege and the burden of leadership. Even though the age of monarchy is mostly behind us, those who study history cannot help but marvel at the extraordinary willpower, intellect and political acumen of these bold leaders as they proved themselves time and again to be the equal of any man.

Herein you will find the stories of dozens of queens, each one of them unique. You will find brilliant courtiers, scintillating patrons of the arts, passionate students of theology and yes, even fierce military leadership. In the face of prosperity, they blossomed. In the face of struggle, they persevered for family, for God, and for their nations. And, unfortunately, sometimes they lost their very heads.

How much do you think you know about these incredible women? With gloves of silk and hearts of steel they ruled, and now the details of their lives are here both to test and to add to your knowledge. Can you grant these great ladies the recognition they so deserve? 


Which queen faced down an Armada and won?

Elizabeth I (1558–1603) ruled an England at last coming into its own, stepping forth as a Great Power on the European continent. She was known as the Virgin Queen due to her refusal to marry, and she was considered significantly more liberal in governance than her predecessors.


Who was an Italian Queen of France?

Catherine de Medici ruled during an era of great strife in France and was desperate to keep the Valois Monarchy in power. She initially compromised with the Huguenot Protestants, but as time went by she became more and more hardened towards them.


Who led armies to war in the Second Crusade?

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1137–52, 1152-1204) was queen at different times of both France and England. She led armies, forged alliances and was considered devastatingly beautiful and clever. She was also a patron of the literary arts.


Whose legacy was the son she gave Henry VIII?

Jane Seymour (1536–37) was the third wife of English monarch Henry VIII. She is most remembered historically for giving him his only son, Edward VI. She was accomplished at needlework, and she allowed the temporary advancement of the Seymour family.


"Let them eat cake" was probably not something she actually said, but who's famous for it nonetheless?

Marie-Antoinette (1774–93) was the final Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was propagandized as being indifferent to the plight of the poor, but there is little actual evidence to support this. She was tried and convicted of High Treason as well as other crimes, then executed via guillotine.


Which queen was imprisoned for 18 years in England?

Unhappy Mary, Queen of Scotland, lived a hard life. Briefly queen of France, she returned to Scotland, married again only to see her King husband murdered, married again and was deposed, and then fled to her cousin Elizabeth's where she found herself the rallying cry of dissatisfied Catholics. Imprisoned for 18 years, she was eventually executed by the order of Elizabeth for plotting against her.


Who was the mother of the Reconquista?

Isabella I of Castile ruled during a period of great change in the Iberian peninsula. She saw the last of the Muslim Spanish kingdoms conquered, she demanded the exile or conversion of all Jews in Spain, and she financed the expeditions sent by Christopher Columbus.


Who spent more than a half century on the Dutch throne?

Wilhelmina (1890–1948) reigned through both World Wars and was a great inspiration to the Dutch Resistance against Nazi Germany. Living in England during the war years, she became the first woman aside from English Queens to be inducted into the Order of the Garter since the 15th century.


Who was the final ruler of the house of Habsburg?

Maria Theresa (1740–80) ruled much of eastern Europe, as well as the Netherlands. She was the great enemy of Frederick of Prussia, and she maintained the power of Catholicism throughout her Empire.


Who was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India?

Victoria (1837–1901) reigned over an era when her country stood atop the globe like a colossus. Her children would go on to rule kingdoms across Europe and, sadly, would find themselves on opposing sides of a Great War.


She slipped in to confer with Julius Caesar in secret.

Cleopatra (51–30 BCE) was the final ruler of Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty. Descended from one of Alexander's generals, Cleopatra was brilliant and well educated, and she cleverly balanced Egypt's interests against the different warring Roman factions.


Who was the first queen to gain sole rulership of Poland?

Jadwiga (1384–99) was actually crowned "King," as a way for the Polish nobles to show their opposition to another contender. She successfully invaded Galicia for Poland, and also had a long-standing conflict with the Teutonic Knights.


Whose name means "The Feathered Mantle"?

Kaahumanu (1823–32) was the queen during the reign of Kamehameha I, and even after his passing she had powerful influence on Hawaiian politics. She fought for rights for Hawaiian women, even at the risk of her own life for breaking societal taboos.


Who had an astonishing 15 children?

Charlotte (1761–1811) was Queen of England during her marriage to King George III, the same George who would see the American colonies revolt from under his rule. She was chosen for marriage specifically due to her lack of connection to any of the conniving factions in England.


The House of Habsburg marries into the crown of France via which queen?

Anne of Austria (1615–51) was married into the French royal family as queen, but found herself stuck between a rock and a hard place when France made war against Philip of Spain, her own brother! She eventually admitted to illegal correspondence with him, resulting in her humiliation and effectively being under house arrest.


Who married the Scottish King James?

Anne of Denmark (1589–1619) clashed frequently were her husband, Scottish King James, over many things, but her greatest secret was that she may have quietly converted to Catholicism. Given the religious conflicts rocking the British Isles, this was a potentially huge affair.


Whose name means "the beauty has come"?

Nefertiti's (1353–36 BCE) reign saw Egypt temporarily change to the worship of a single God, Aten the Sun God, something unprecedented. She may have ruled Egypt as co-Pharaoh, something rarely done in that society.


Whose husband bore the simple title "the Conqueror"?

Matilda of Flanders, Queen of England, (c. 1053–83) was noted for having 10 surviving children with William, who is himself unusual for a royal in that he does not appear to have cheated on her. Due to a misunderstanding, for a long time she was incorrectly rumored to have been physically very short.


Who was the flashpoint that led to the Anglican Church?

Catherine of Aragon was the wife of King Henry VIII of England. Her inability to have a son led him to demand an annulment from the Catholic Church. The Church's refusal to grant this annulment resulted in King Henry declaring himself supreme over religious matters in England, forever changing the course of European history.


The French Wars of Religion forced which queen to pick sides?

Margaret of Valois, Queen of Navarre and later France ,(1572–99) chose the side of the Catholic League in opposition to her husband, Henry, which resulted in her effective exile to Auvergne for 20 years. She was also the first woman in France known to have written her memoirs.


Who served as regent of England in 1253?

Eleanor of Provence was a devoted queen who helped her husband see off the rebel Simon de Montfort. Nonetheless she was hated by Londoners, who disliked her giving government jobs to her relatives from afar.


Who made tea drinking fashionable for the people of England?

Catherine of Braganza (1662–85) was the Queen of England and wife to Charles II. Although her husband clearly respected her, her lack of children and staunch Roman Catholicism made her very unpopular among many of her subjects.


Who was the longest-serving Queen of France?

Marie Leszczyńska (1725–68), daughter of Stanislaw I of Poland, was the Queen of France to her husband, Louis XV. An early failed attempt to interfere in court politics led her to withdraw from it almost entirely. Unfortunately, her relationship to her husband was to sour, and he was a notorious philanderer.


Who was the daughter of Anne of Brittany?

Claude of France (1515–24) was the helpless pawn of royal politics: she suffered through many pregnancies and also had scoliosis, resulting in a hunched back. Her back plus her pregnancy weight made her the target of cruel humiliation at court.


Whose husband lost his head?

Henrietta Maria (1625–44), known as Queen Mary, was the wife of Charles I, the unhappy deposed and executed King of England. During Cromwell's reign she lived in Paris in some poverty, only returning when her son reclaimed the throne. Her Roman Catholicism had made her unpopular in England, but the colony of Maryland was named after her.


Who was sister to Marie Antoinette and foe of Napoleon?

Maria Carolina (1768–1811) was the Queen of Naples and Sicilly. Horrified by the execution of her sister, she used intense police pressure to prevent the ideals of the French Revolution from growing in her lands and allied with Britain against Napoleonic France.


Who saw her husband's ascent to the throne as catastrophic?

Marie-Amélie de Bourbon (1830–48), Queen of France, was afraid of the position she ended up holding. She had seen many relatives lost during the French Revolution, and she was worried that the same would happen to her husband Louis-Philippe and herself. While not killed, she was indeed eventually forced into exile.


Who was queen of Naples... and Jerusalem?

Joanna I (1343–82) dealt with invasions, brutal husbands and personal exile, but still managed to rule her home of Naples with a steady hand. It is believed she was eventually assassinated, perhaps while in the midst of prayer.


Who was the younger sister of Napoleon?

Caroline Bonaparte (1808–15) was the younger sister of Napoleon, and he used her to have a friendly connection to the throne of Naples. Although they eventually made a separate peace with the Anti-Napoleonic coalition, they chose the wrong side when he returned during the Hundred Days, and she was ousted.


Legend has it that which queen sat atop a mule, keeping apart two armies?

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (1282–1325) was a devout Catholic, a source of succor to the poor and sick, and a devoted pursuer of peace. At numerous points in her life she took it upon herself to mediate peace between warring factions, sparing her country much bloodshed.


Who was the leader of Lancaster in the War of the Roses?

Margaret of Anjou (1445–61; 1470–71) faced a difficult challenge: with her husband Henry lost to madness, she made the call to try to remove her Yorkist opposition from power. The ensuing civil war cost her son his life, and her her throne.


Whose son was rumored to be a changeling?

Mary of Modena (1673–88) was the staunchly Roman Catholic Queen of England and wife of James II/VII. Unfortunately for her, the birth of her child led to her family's overthrow in a bloodless "Glorious Revolution," which saw her flee to France.


Who was queen of France twice?

Anne of Brittany (1488–1514) married two separate French Kings due to the strategic importance of her inheritance, Brittany. She is beloved to this day in her home, and though she was not able to directly give the rulership of France to her daughter, she married the new King anyway, cementing the union of the two states.


They challenged which queen's right to rule Spain, based on her sex?

Isabella II of Spain (1833–68) had her legitimacy challenged in a conflict called the Carlist wars. More specifically, it was her son's legitimacy that was challenged - it is said that he was not born from her royal husband. She was eventually deposed and fled.


Whose husband's rule of Bohemia was but a single winter, leading her to be nicknamed the "Winter Queen"?

Elizabeth Stuart (1619–20; from 1620, in exile) was the eldest daughter of James Stuart, King of the British Isles. She became Electress of the Palatinate by marriage and, briefly, Queen of Bohemia. When the Stuart line ended, her successors became the Kings of England.


Who strove against the Nazis?

Elisabeth of Bavaria (1876–1965) saw Belgium assailed in two World Wars, and in each one she led with distinction. In the Great War she served as a nurse, and in WWII she used her influence to help rescue Jewish children.


Who was the first and last full queen of Hawaii?

Liliuokalani (1891–93) was the first woman to fully rule Hawaii, and its last monarch due to its overthrow by plantation owners. The latter eventually led to the islands being annexed by the United States of America, when Hawaii of course became a state.


Who was the second known female pharaoh?

Hatshepsut (c. 1473–58 BCE) reigned successfully for a long time over her beloved Egypt. She is particularly interesting in that she is known for being the "First Great Woman" in all of recorded history! Despite some early war, her reign was largely peaceful and Egypt prospered.


Which queen could this be?

Philippa of Hainaut (1327–69) was the wife of Edward III of England. She is most known for her 14 (!) children, one of which being Edward the Black Prince, famed military commander. She was gentle, kind and courteous to all.


Which queen of Holland smiles here?

Hortense (1806–10) of Holland was actually appointed there as part of a power play by the Emperor Napoleon, and she initially wished to be queen remotely, from Paris! Although her time as queen was limited, she actually was well received by the Dutch and enjoyed her life there.


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