Queen Tiye: Mother to Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), Grandmother to Tutankhamun

Queen Tiye: Mother to Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), Grandmother to Tutankhamun

Tiye (1398-1338 B.C.) was a queen of Egypt of the 18th Dynasty, wife of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, mother of Akhenaten, Thutmosis; five daughters, Sitamen, Henuttaneb, Isis, Nebetah, and Baketaten.

Her parents were Yuya and Thuya. Her father, Yuya, reportedly was a priest of the Egyptian god Min, the chief god of the area. Thuya held important religious titles, in addition to the title of the Royal Mother of the Great Wife of the King.

Queen Tiye held several administrative positions in the palace and had a role in Egyptian foreign diplomacy. She held the title of "Great Royal Wife" and acted upon it following the end of her husband, king of Amenhotep III’s, reign. Together, they introduced a form of monotheism, with the worship of the sun god Aten.

Tiye may have continued to advise her son, Akhenaten, when he took the throne. Her son’s correspondence in the Amarna letters with Tushratta, the king of Mitanni, speaks highly of the political influence she wielded at court.

For nearly half of a century, Tiye governed Kemet, regulated her trade, and protected her borders. She’s regarded as one of the most influential queens ever to rule Kemet. The royal couple presented a united front in dealing with domestic and foreign policies, and the reign of Amenhotep III is considered a high point in Egyptian history.

Her example is thought to have served as a model for her daughter-in-law, as Nefertiti enjoyed much the same status as Tiye, serving the court in the same capacity.

It’s not known exactly when she died, but it was most likely around the 12th year of Akhenaten's reign, placing her birth around 1398 B.C., her marriage to Amenhotep III at the age of eleven or twelve, and her becoming a widow at the age of 48 to 49-years-old.


Like this post? Stop by and read Nefertiti: A Beautiful Woman Has Come.” Nefertiti was relatively young, when she married Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten). What is best known of Nefertiti is her bust, believed to have been created by Thutmose who is thought to have been the official court sculptor.

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