Nefernefruaten ta-Sherit, Nefernefrure, & Setepenre


Nefernefruaten ta-Sherit ("The Little Beauty of the Beauties of Aten") was the fourth daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, and probably the first princess to be born at the new capital of Akhet-Aten (Amarna). So, in a way, she is the first 'Amarna' princess. She was probably born in year 7 or 8, and she was named after her mother, Nefernefruaten-Nefertiti. The "Ta-Sherit" meaning "little" (or junior) was necessary because not only Nefernefruaten was also one of Nefertiti's names, and the prenomen of one of the myserious "Ankh(et)kheperures".

The fate of this Amarna princess is not known. She is shown with her sisters Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten mourning the death of Meketaten in year 14, her two younger sisters, Nefernefrure and Setepenre,are missing from this scene and may have already died. Some have theorized that Nefernefruaten was married to a foreign king, but that seems unlikely based on Egypt's political scene: foriegn princesses were always sent to Egypt, but Egyptian princesses were never sent to a foriegn nation. Nefernefruaten most likely died at Akhet-Aten, before Tutankhaten and Ankhesenpaaten came to the throne.


Nefernefrure ("Beauty of the Beauties of Re" or "Beauty of the Beauties of the Sun") was the fifth daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. She was born in about year 8 or 9. Her name was the first amoung the princesses not to include the -Aten element. All four of her older sisters had -Aten names: Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, and Nefernefruaten ta-Sherit. Why did Nefernefrure have "Re" instead of "Aten" in her name? Perhaps there were some changes going on in the religous scene at the time of her birth.

Nefernefrure ceases to be mentioned after year 14, and is not shown in the mourning scene at the death of Meketaten (neither is her little sister, Setepenre), and many conclude from this evidence that she predeceased Meketaten. But there really is no way to know for sure.

Still others have, like with Nefernefruaten ta-Sherit, theorized that Nefernefrure was sent away to marry a foreign king, but this was simply not done in Egypt. Foreign princesses came into the country, but there is no documentation of any Egyptian princesses leaving. In fact, Amenhotep III (the Amarna Princesses' grandfather) told one foriegn king that it was never done when he asked to marry an Egyptian Princess. So it seems rather unlikely that any of the Amarna princesses were sent off to be wed to a foriegn king.


Setepenre ("Chosen of Re" or "Chosen One of Re") was the sixth and last daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. She was probably born in late year nine, or possibly early year ten.

Not much is known about little Setepenre. She probably died young, predeceasing Meketaten. In fact, she may have been the first Amarna Princess to die. Neither she nor Nefernefrure are present at the mourning scenes at the death of Meketaten. Maybe Setepenre and Neferneferure were though too young to be present at such a ceremony, or maybe they was just too young to participate, so she was left our of the scene.

It is likely, however, that young Setepenre didn't live all that long. She has almost certaily died before Tutankhaten came to the throne. After Tutankhaten came to the throne, the only Amarna princess who seems to have been alive was Ankhesenpaaten.

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