Princess Ankhesenpaaten/Queen Ankhesenamen

I am Princess Ankhesenpaaten, the third daughter of Pharaoh Neferkheperure-Waenre Akhenaten and King's Great Wife, Nefernefruaten Nefertiti. My birth name, Ankhesenpaaten, roughly tranlates as "She Lives Through the Aten" or "Living Through the Aten" (in some inscriptions, it was "Ankhesenaten" instead). I was probably born in Waset (Thebes), but grew up in Papa's new city of Akhetaten (Horizon of Aten; modern: Tell el-Amarna). I had two older sisters, Meritaten, called "Mayati", and Meketaten. I also had three younger sisters, Neferneferuaten ta-sherit, Neferneferure, and Setepenre. My nurse, Tia, was also a constant companion.

I was brought up on the religion started by my father, the worship of the sun-disk, the Aten. My father was by no means popular with the priests for his actions, the priesthood of Amun, the former "King of the Gods" were especially angry. The Amun preisthood had enjoyed a level of power and wealth almost rivaling that of Pharaoh himself! But since my father had rasied Aten above all others, the influence of the priests who served any God other than Aten was virtually non-existant.

I had a pleasant childhood, playing with my five sisters and two step-siblings, Mara (Kiya ta-sherit) and Tutankhaten . Mara and (most likely) Tutankhaten were children of my father and his secondary wife, the Favourite, the "Greatly Beloved Wife" Kiya. Kiya, although I did not know it then, was also my future mother-in-law.

It is thought that I gave birth to a daughter (Ankhesenpaaten ta-sherit) by my father when I was only about 11 years of age. Some scholars, however, claim that this princess, and another (Meritaten ta-sherit) were actually children of one of Akhenaten's secondary wives, not myself and Meritaten respectively.

After father and his co-regent, Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare, died, there was the very important issue of who was to be the next pharaoh. I was married to my childhood friend, Tutankhaten, the 9 or 10 year old heir to the throne. I was about 12 years old, only a few years older than Tutankhaten.
The now king Nebkheperure Tutankhaten and I ruled from Amarna for a few years, until the royal court eventually abandoned Akhetaten. It was actually Ay's decision; we grew up in Akhetaten and on Atenism. I certainly didn't want to leave. Ay was my young king's advisor, and my grandfather, the father of Nefertiti. Also at this time, our names were officially changed from Ankhesenpaaten and Tutankhaten to Ankhesenamen and Tutankhamen; to reflect the god Amun's return to favor. I personally did not abandon my belief in Atenism, but I went to the temples of the other gods. My father's main fault was that he pushed his beliefs on others. So when the Queen's presence was needed at a religious ceremony, I was there, by my young king's side.

As Tutankhamen and I grew up, our friendship blossomed into love. Tutankhamen and I were so close that I was his only wife. Most pharaohs have many wives, like my father did, but not my Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen also gave me beautiful titles like "Sweet of Love" and "The One Who Pacifies the God with Her Voice." Many scenes of the two of us were found in Tutankhamen's tomb. One touching example is the "Small Golden Shrine," it shows 18 scenes of Tutankhamen and I. Some scholars say that this served ritual purposes, symbolizing that I would be with Tutankhamen even in death. This seems unlikely, since, Tutankhamen's name is not followed by "Justified" or "True of voice" the standard epitahats for the dead. It seems that this shrine was made when dear Tutankhamen was still alive. Some say it commerated the corronation of the young king, others say it was a gift to him from me.

Just when Tutankhamen had reached the age when he no longer needed his advisors, something horrible happened. Tutankhamen died, at about the age of 18 or 19. I was now a widow, and only about 21 years old. My dreams and heart were shattered. There was no heir to the throne. I had suffered two miscarriages, the two tiny girls were burried with their father. Oh, you could never understand the pain I went through. What was I to do? After the death of my husband (some have theorized that Tutankhamen was murdered), I wrote to the Hittite King, Suppiluliumas, and asked for one of his sons to marry. I was desperate! I didn't trust Ay or Horemheb, and I knew I was going to have to marry one of them to strengthen their weak claims to the throne. I wasn't the naive young girl they seemed to think I was. Tutankhamen's sudden death made those two suspect in my mind. I couldn't (and still can't) prove anything, but I had my suspicions! If I married a Hittie prince, I would have a husband and the Hittite army to protect me. Not to mention that there would be a great alliance between the two super-powers of the time. But the Hittite prince was murdered on his way into Egypt, (I blame that on General Horemheb) and I was forced to marry Ay, who was about 40 years older than I (not to mention my grandfather).

Soon after my marriage to the elderly Ay, I vanish, neither my tomb or my body have been found...

Ankhesenamen's Lament at Tutankhamen's Death:

"I am thy wife, O great one- do not leave me!
Is it thy good pleasure, O my brother, that I should go far from thee?
How can it be that I go away alone?
I say: 'I accompany thee, O thou who didst like to converse with me,'
But thou remainest silent and speakest not!"

The First Letter to the Hittites:

"My husband died. A son I have not. But to thee, they say, the sons are many. If thou wouldst give me one son of thine, he would become my husband. Never shall I pick out a servant of mine and make him my husband. I am afraid!"

The Second Hittite Letter to the Hittites:

"Why didst thou say ‘they deceive me,' in that way? Had I a son, would I have written about my own and my country’s shame to a foreign land? Thou didst not believe me and hast even spoken thus to me! He who was my husband has died. A son I have not. Never shall I take a servant of mine and make him my husband! I have written to no other country, only to thee have I written. They say thy sons are many: so give me one son of thine! To me he will be husband, but in Egypt he will be king.”

Ankhesenpaaten/Ankhesenamen's Titles

King’s Daughter of His Body Whom He Loves
King’s Great Wife
King’s Great Wife Whom He Loves
Sweet of Love
Mistress of Love
Great of Offerings, Splendid of Ornaments
Mistress of the Imat-scepter
Pure of Hands Carrying the Sistrum
Great of Praises
The One Who Pacifies the God with Her Voice
Aten Rises to Give Her Praise, He Sets to Repeat Her Love
Lady of the South and the North
Lady of the Shores of Horus
Mistress of the Two Lands