Tey, wife of Ay

I am Tey, the Royal Nurse who became a Great Royal Wife, a rather obscure Amarna personality. I am a commoner queen like my sister-in-law Queen Tiye. I succeeded my step-granddaughter, Ankhesenamen, as Lady of the Two Lands some time after my husband, Ay, became Pharaoh folllowing the death of Ankhesenamen's young husband, Tutankhamen. My name is actually the same as Queen Tiye's, but is written either without the 'e' or as Tey to avoid even more confusion.

I was the second wife of Ay and I had great promience at Amarna, with titles like Khekeret Nesu meaning "Royal Ornament", and many others. At Amarna, my elegant figure and impressive face were carved in relief in the unused tomb of my husband, Ay.

I am thought to be Nefertiti's stepmother, not her actual mother. Nefertiti's poor mother, Ay's first wife, died either shortly after or during Nefertiti's birth, I became her nurse, and her father then married me. I am, however, the mother of Mutnodjmet, Nefertiti's supposed half-sister. My little Mutnodjmet was a Queen of Egypt as the wife of Horemheb.

Ay, whatever people may say about him, really did care for me. I appear in Ay's tomb in the valley of the kings and on many of his monuments, standing beside him as queen. In his tomb, in fact, it is I, not Ankhesenamen (who many claim Ay married to secure the right to the throne after poor Tutankhamen's death) who appears as the Great Royal Wife, which I couldn't be while my step-granddaughter was still living. It suggests that she, like her husband, died young. Poor dear children.

Tey's Titles: before and after becoming Queen

Royal Ornament
Nurse of the King's Great Wife
Governess of the Goddess
One Who Praises the King's Great Wife
Singer of Waenre (Akhenaten)
Great of Praises
King’s Great Wife Whom He Loves
Lady of the South and the North
Mistress of the Two Lands