Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

Before 3000 BC Egypt was split into two parts – upper and lower Egypt.

In Upper Egypt, the ruler wore and white crown, and in Lower Egypt, the ruler wore a red crown.

After Egypt was united in 3000 BC, the new rulers became known as Pharaohs, and they wore crowns or headgear that were made from both colors.

Pharaoh is a name that was given to the Kings and Queens of all of Egypt.  Pharaoh comes from an Egyptian word to mean ‘Great House’ or Kingdom.

Many historians believe that the first ever Pharaoh was called Narmer or Menes.

It is believed that Narmer or Menes are the same person, but with different names.

The first Pharaoh (whatever his name) was famous for uniting the two part of Egypt in to one.

Most Pharaohs were men, but Egypt also had up to 7 female Pharaohs as well.

Just like with many old Royal families, the new King was always the oldest son or male relative of the current one.

The people of Egypt believed that Pharaohs were chosen by the gods, and that is how they were treated.

Pharaohs ruled everything and everyone in Egypt.  When they made rules, they had to be followed.

It wasn’t just Pharaohs that the Egyptian people thought were gods – cats were too.  In ancient Egypt, hurting a cat could mean jail or even death!

The job of a Pharaoh was to make sure the gods were followed and that the people in their country were happy.

One of first things that new Pharaohs did once they were crowned, was to plan for their death.  Egyptian Kings and Queens believed that when they died, they could take their favourite things from their life with them.

Because of this belief, many Pharaohs were buried with money and jewels.

Famous Pharaohs

Hatshepsut – was the second female Pharaohs, but one of the most famous.  Hatshepsut was the daughter and wife of previous Pharaohs.  She was also the mother of the future Pharaoh.

Thutmose III – was the stepson of Hatshepsut.  When his father died, it was felt that Thutmose III was too young to rule.  His stepmother took over royal duties until he was old enough.

Amenhotep III – was also known as the Magnificent King.  He was the Great-Grandson on Thutmose III and was known for helping Egypt become very powerful

Akhenaten – was the son of Amenhotep III.  He tried to stop Egyptians from believing in the gods.  Because of this, most of the statues of him were taken down after his death.

Tutankhamun – was known for being one of the youngest Pharaohs of Egypt.  He was about 9 or 10 years old when he was crowned.  Tutankhamun is often known as King Tut.

Ramses II – was a great soldier and won many battles during his time as Pharaoh.  It’s believed that he was a King for 66 years

Cleopatra VII – is still one of the best-known female Pharaohs of Egypt.  She ruled Egypt jointly with her brothers.

Pharaohs Facts for Kids

  • The most famous female Pharaohs were Hatshepsut and Cleopatra
  • Both male and female Pharaohs wore beautiful clothes and make-up
  • Some male Pharaohs also wore fake beards to make them look more like gods
  • The Pharaohs believed that wearing a wig would stop them from getting lice
  • When Pharaohs died, they were buried in big tombs inside pyramids.  This was to make sure that they lived well after death
  • The Pharaohs crown had a snake goddess on the front to keep enemies away
  • The youngest and longest Pharaoh was Pepy II.  Pepy was crowned when he was 6 years old and was King for about 90 years
  • There were about 225 Pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt for around 3000 years

What did you learn?

What two colours made up the Pharaohs crown?
Red and white

How many female Pharaohs were there?

What animal was on the front of the crown?
A snake

Where were Pharaohs buried when they died?
Pyramids or a tomb

What was another name for Tutankhamun?
King Tut