The Princess Neferura

Queen Hatshepsut had only one daughter, Neferura, born of the marriage with Thutmose II. The education of the princess was fundamental and the first to take charge of it was the old soldier who had participated in the conquest of Avaris, Ahmosi Pennekhbet. In this position, he was succeeded by Senmut, who appears together with Neferura in a dozen of statues; an important figure, if we consider that in almost half of the approximately twenty statues of the butler who have been preserved, he does not appear alone, but in the company of the princess.

This circumstance gave rise to disparate hypotheses about the true paternity of Neferura, which some attribute to Senmut without any proof, except for the undeniable intimacy existing between them, which is evident from these sculptural groups. Subsequently, the education of the princess passed into the hands of Senimen, another official, perhaps brother of Senmut. All the charges relating to the female part of the royal couple were attributed to Neferura, from the coronation of the mother as a pharaoh of the Two Lands. Until then, those titles had belonged to Hatshepsut, but she had had to give them up because they were incompatible with the male role she had accepted. Thus in the inscriptions Neferura is cited as “Great Royal Bride”, “Bride of the god” and “Hand of the god”.

Since the queen had no plans to marry again, it was necessary for a woman of royal rank to accompany her in ritual functions. Without a doubt, the perfect choice was Neferura who, besides being the daughter of kings, would not have interrupted the lineage of women who from the 17th dynasty played a prominent role in the government of Egypt. Neferura disappears from the documentations around the 11th year of the reign of Hatshepsut, without evidence that he married Thumose III.

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