• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

5 richest queens of all time, with estimated worth at $17.5 trillion

5 richest queens of all time, with estimated worth at $17.5 trillion

The five richest queens in history, including Empress Wu, Catherine the Great, Cleopatra VII, Isabella of Castile, and Hatshepsut, have each left an enduring legacy in their respective nations. Their unparalleled influence and affluence have shaped empires and civilizations.

Together, their combined estimated worth today stands at $17.598 trillion, showcasing the significant impact of female rulers throughout the ages. The complexities of estimating historical wealth underscore the intricacies of their reigns and the economic conditions of their time. However, it’s essential to recognize that such estimations are speculative and subject to varying methodologies.

Read also: Bernard Arnault now world richest man worth $231.5bn

Empress Wu (624-705) — US$16 trillion

Empress Wu Zetian, born in 624 CE, rose from concubine to become China’s only female emperor during the Tang Dynasty. She wielded significant power behind the scenes before openly proclaiming herself emperor in 690 CE, ruling until 705 CE, and establishing the Zhou dynasty.

Her reign saw territorial expansion and economic prosperity through the Silk Road trade, although marred by ruthless methods of eliminating rivals. Even with the controversy, she’s remembered as both a visionary leader and a symbol of power, her legacy enduring through various depictions in media and her immense estimated wealth of US$16 trillion, BusinessDay reported.

Catherine the Great (1729-1796) — US$1.5 trillion

Catherine the Great, born in 1729, rose to power in Russia after overthrowing her husband in 1762. As empress, she transformed Russia into a global superpower, fostering culture, science, and education inspired by Enlightenment ideas. She expanded Russian territory, adding Crimea and parts of Poland, and her economic influence was vast, controlling significant land holdings and contributing to about 5% of global GDP, historians estimate it to be an astonishing US$1.5 trillion.

In defiance of challenges she faced such as attempted uprisings, Catherine’s legacy endures as a visionary leader who modernized Russia and left an indelible mark on its history, shaping its growth and cultural development.

Cleopatra VII (69BC-30BC) — US$96 billion

Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, born around 70 or 69 BCE, co-ruled Egypt with her brother before ascending to sole power. Known for her political acumen, she formed alliances with influential Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Cleopatra’s control over Egypt’s prosperous industries contributed to her immense wealth, net worth of US$96 billion.

Despite stabilizing Egypt, she faced defeat in the Battle of Actium against Octavian. Her legacy, shrouded in myth and controversy, continues to captivate, portraying her as a powerful and enigmatic ruler who shaped Egypt’s fate and left an indelible mark on history.

Isabella of Castile (1451-1504) — US$5 billion

Queen Isabella I of Castile, known as Isabella the Catholic, defied the odds to ascend to the throne in 1474, ruling for 30 years. Alongside her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon, she unified Spain politically and religiously, laying the groundwork for the Spanish Empire with Christopher Columbus’s voyages.

Isabella’s wealth was unparalleled, with an annual income of 1.45 million ducats, estimated to be around $5 billion today. Her legacy as an extraordinary queen continues to inspire, symbolizing a united Spain and shaping the era of exploration and empire-building.

Read also: Meet 5 women in sports business worth over $20 billion

Hatshepsut (1507BC-1458BC) — US$2 billion

Hatshepsut, the female king (pharaoh) of ancient Egypt, ascended to power around 1473 BCE by marrying her half-brother, Thutmose II, then acting as regent for her stepson, Thutmose III, before becoming co-ruler. Her reign was characterized by unprecedented wealth, with control over gold, copper, and precious stone mines, estimated at approximately US$2 billion today.

She oversaw ambitious building projects and transformed her image to legitimize her power. Hatshepsut’s legacy endures as one of the most famous female pharaohs, showcasing her strength, intelligence, and leadership, and standing as a testament to female empowerment and greatness in ancient Egypt.