10 Warrior Queens Who Led Their Armies Gracefully

By Raza Mehdi

Nov 18, 2022

Æthelflæd ruled Mercia in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex alongside her elderly husband. She protected her empire from Vikings, Danish, and Irish raiders by adding military infrastructure and strategies.


Kingdom: Mercia  England) Years in power: 911-918

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Queen Amina began her training to rule Nigeria from early childhood by learning about military affairs. She went on to win many battles, conquer vast stretches of land and construct strong earthen walls around them. She is credited with building the “ganuwar Amina” or ‘Amina’s walls’.


Kingdom: Zazzau (Nigeria) Years in power: 1576-1610

Queen Artemisia I assisted Persia’s King Xerxes during his expedition to conquer Greece. Unfortunately, the Persian fleet was  defeated, but she remained in high regard and continued to serve as an advisor to Xerxes.

Artemisia I

Kingdom: Caria (Turkey) Years in power: Circa 480 B.C.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Queen Isabella I of Castile helped unify Spain by marrying Ferdinand II of Aragon. She sponsored the exploratory voyages of Christopher Columbus. She also was responsible for the Alhambra Decree that expelled Jewish people from the country. won Spain back from the Moors in the late 1400s.

Isabella I

Kingdom: Castile and Aragon (Spain) Years in power: 1474-1504

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Lakshmibai, the queen of Jhansi at that time, defended the city from British invaders and continued her fight even after her forces were overpowered. Eventually, she was killed in combat.

Rani Lakshmibai

Kingdom: Jhansi, northern India Years in power: 1843-1858

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Queen Teuta attacked the coastal Greek colonies and Sicily with the Illyrian navy. But when she antagonised Rome, they sent a large fleet to the eastern shores of the Adriatic, leading to Teuta's defeat in 228 B.C.


Kingdom: Illyria (Western Balkans) Years in power: 231-227 B.C.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Trưng Trắc became the first female Vietnamese monarch and the only queen regnant in the nation’s history. Trưng Trắc and her sister, Trưng Nhị, or Trung Sisters, led a rebellion against the Chinese Han Dynasty occupiers of their homeland and forced them to flee. They took over 65 northern citadels within a year.

Trưng Trắc

Kingdom: Vietnam Years in power: 40-43

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Zenobia was the widow of king Odaenathus of Palmyra. She courageously fought against the Roman Empire, briefly gaining independence for her lands and parts of Egypt. Unfortunately, the Roman Emperor Aurelian captured Zenobia and occupied Palmyra.

Septimia Zenobia

Kingdom: Palmyrene Empire (Syria) Years in power: 260-272

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Queen Ana Nzinga was a military leader who repeatedly fought against the Portuguese. Her diplomatic skills led to a decrease in the intensity of the Portuguese slave trade in Central Africa.

Ana Nzinga

Kingdom: Mbande Ndogo and Matamba (Angola) Years in power: 1624-1663

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Nefertiti was the queen of Ancient Egypt and the wife of King Akhenaten. Jointly they are known for starting a religious revolution by pushing for the worship of only one god, Aten. She was renowned for her beauty and supremacy.

Neferneferuaten Nefertiti

Kingdom: Egypt Years in power: 1353-1336 B.C.