Hetepheres II

Hetepheres II
Queen of Egypt

Hetepheres and her daughter Meresankh III.
Burial tomb G 7000X near the Great Pyramid of Giza
Spouse Prince Kawab
Pharaoh Djedefre
Issue Duaenhor
Meresankh III
Father Khufu
Mother Meritites I
Religion Ancient Egyptian religion

Hetepheres II was a Queen of Ancient Egypt during the 4th dynasty.


t p
in hieroglyphs

Birth and family

Queen Hetepheres II may have been one of the longest-lived members of the royal family of the Fourth dynasty of Egypt, which lasted from ca. 2723 to 2563 BC. She was a daughter of Khufu[1] and was either born during the reign of her grandfather Sneferu or during the early years of her father's reign. She was named after her grandmother, Hetepheres I and she had an aunt named Hetepheres A. A fragmentary titulature found in the tomb of Meritites I may indicate that she was the mother of Hetepheres II.

Titles of Hetepheres II:


During the reign of Khufu, Hetepheres II married her brother, the Crown Prince Kawab,[2] with whom she had at least one child, a daughter named Meresankh III. After the death of her first husband, she married another of her brothers, Djedefra who later succeeded Khufu as king of Egypt.

She was widowed a second time when Djedefre died. The marriage of her daughter, Meresankh III, to her late second husband's successor Khafra made Hetepheres II the mother-in-law of the new king. She also out-lived her third husband and her own daughter, Meresankh III. A mark of her affection for Meresankh III may be seen in the fact that Hetepheres II had her own mastaba in the eastern cemetery of Giza converted into a tomb for her daughter's use. Hetepheres II herself was probably buried in tomb G7350 even though she possessed a joint tomb with her first husband, Kawab (G7110 and 7120 respectively).[3]

While marriage within the royal family was common, multiple marriages to this extent was not. It has been suggested the subsequent marriages were more to maintain her position at court and were honorary in nature.[4] She never produced an heir to the throne and was never given the title of King's Mother.[5]

Hetepheres finally died early in the reign of Shepseskaf, the son and successor of Menkaura, and had thus witnessed the reigns of at least five and perhaps six (if she was born during the reign of Sneferu) pharaohs of the fourth Dynasty.


Children of Hetepheres II and Kawab

Hetepheres II depicted as a sphinx, possibly the first, from Abu Rawash pyramid of Djedefre - Cairo Museum

Children of Hetepheres II and Djedefre


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  1. Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson (2004), p.57
  2. Michael Rice, Who's Who in Ancient Egypt, Routledge London & New York, 1999. p.67
  3. Dodson, p.57
  4. Tyldesley, Joyce. Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. p.46. Thames & Hudson. 2006. ISBN 0-500-05145-3
  5. Tyldesley, p.46.
  6. 1 2 3 Porter and Moss, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings; Part III
  7. Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, pg 72
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