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Facts About Queen Ankhesenamun: Wife of King Tut

Neha B Deshpande
Queen Ankhesenamun can be said to be the Lost Queen of Egypt. Famous as the wife of King Tut: the boy-king who ruled for a very small period before his untimely death, there are many speculations and theories that go around her. Here are some facts and speculations about this Egyptian queen that historians have managed to unveil.

Fictional Character Based on Queen Ankhesenamun

In the movie series 'The Mummy', 'Ankhesenamun' is portrayed to be the love interest of Imhotep. However, it has no resemblance to the real character.
History is indeed intriguing, and what more mysterious can something be than the ancient Egyptian civilization? The world of mummies is indeed intriguing and difficult to comprehend.
A lot has been spoken about King Tut, however, much less is spoken about his wife, who is believed to be his half-sister. When historians made a mind-boggling discovery that King Tut was born out of a royal incest, the legendary boy-king shot to fame.
With many other interesting facts being later unveiled by a team of historians, there is actually little known about his wife.
An era when royal incest was rampant to keep the throne within the royal family, the queen presumably was married before she got married to King Tut. The upcoming sections speak about the facts discovered about Queen Ankhesenamun, the chief wife of King Tut.

When was Queen Ankhesenamun Born?

She was born to King Akhenaten and Nefertiti (c. 1348 BC). Together, they had six daughters, and a son from Nefertiti is unknown. They were known for their radical change in religion during their reign, and initiated the worship of 'Aten', which was not accepted.
Ankhesenamun was the third daughter to her parents, and her original name was 'Ankhesenpaaten'. After her marriage to King Tut, her name was eventually changed to reflect the change in religion.


There are speculations that after the death of Nefertiti, her father might have married each of his first three eldest daughters for a male heir to their throne. However, it is suggested through depictions that the second daughter died during the process of childbirth. There is a possibility that Ankhesenamun might have been married to her father before she was married to King Tut.
After her father's death, there is a possibility that she was married to Smenkhkare, who ruled for a brief period. However, there are many different theories revolving around him, and very poor evidence is available. Hence, the viability of his marriage with Ankhesenamun cannot be vouched for.
There are evidences that King Tut is the son of Akhenaten, thus, igniting the possibility that Queen Ankhesenamun was both, his wife and half-sister. The boy-king was only nineteen years old when he died, and the queen was supposedly a couple of years elder to him.

Life with King Tut

After her marriage to King Tut, the couple left for Thebes, changed their religion, and assumed a new life, following the conventional religions pattern, instead of the radical one her father had adopted.
It might be possible that she might have mothered a daughter, however, there is no evidence for the same. Other than that, there are two mummies of small daughters (premature babies) found in King Tut's tomb, who might be the daughters of King Tut and Queen Ankhesenamun.
With regards to what Queen Ankhesenamun wore, a depiction of the queen with King Tut portrays her as wearing a blue wig and a crown, and donning the royal red sash.

Ankhesenamun's Letter to Hittite King

It is believed that she had sent a letter to Suppiluliuma, the Hittite king, after King Tut's death, asking the hand of one of his sons in marriage. There has been a letter found in Hittite's archives, from an unknown queen that states the following:"My husband has died and I have no son.
They say about you that you have many sons. You might give me one of your sons to become my husband. Never shall I pick out a servant of mine and make him my husband!... I am afraid!"
This letter is believed to be sent by Ankhesenamun, since she was unwilling to marry the next potential successor, the Grand Vizier Ay. There is no proper evidence to prove that she was married to Ay, who was believed to be her maternal grandfather.
A blue ring found with her name engraved with Ay's name might be an indication that the young widow had to eventually marry him. The Hittite king had sent one of his sons, however, he was killed en route.

The Missing Tomb: How Did Queen Ankhesenamun Die?

There has been nothing on record found after her possible marriage to King Ay. After that, there are no hints or records found about what happened to her, how she died, or whether she had been murdered.
She suddenly disappeared from the Egyptian walls, and her tomb is yet to be discovered. There were mummies of two queens found, however, there is not enough evidence to prove that it might belong to her.
There are many fictional books written that are loosely based on the character of this lost queen of Egypt. For example, 'The Forgotten: Aten's Last Queen' by J. Lynn Else and 'The Last Heiress: A Novel of Tutankhamun's Queen' by Stephanie Liaci.
While many facts are yet to be discovered, we can hope that more of this interesting segment of history is unveiled in the near future.