Already in the ancient world most rulers were men. However some women exercised power and sway, directly, or as royal consorts. These essays that stem from a seminar, as part of a series about Royal History, arranged by the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, highlight Female Rulers - Portraits of Power: Their time, personalities and ruling strategies.
Does a person's sex matter when it comes to who should be the head of state, like Queen Christina of Sweden believed? What does history tell us? How have female ruler's exercised power during different historical epochs and under various social and political conditions. Do female rulers differ from male rulers, in terms of status in the eyes of their subjects and in their style of exercising power? Do they need to be more traditionally female, or do they on the contrary have to over emphasize and compensate by more strongly displaying traditionally male qualities, in order to fulfil their role and function in society and history? What does it take to be a Queen?