The Bearded Queen

Born to King Thutmose I and married her half-brother King Thutmose II, Hatshepsut was both a Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt. When her husband died in 1479 B.C., his successor was still an infant.

Saving Genghis Khan’s Empire

Married to the Mongolian Manduul Khan at the age of 18, Mandukhai was widowed soon after, when her husband was poisoned in 1479. In the midst of the resulting instability, she found one of the great Genghis Khan’s descendants, a young boy who had been hidden away for his own safety.

Empress Theodora

When Justinian I, nephew of the current Byzantine emperor, met Theodora she was an actress, prostitute, wool-spinner, and had just returned from a spiritual experience in the desert. The two were an unlikely match and Justinian had several laws changed to allow their marriage, which occurred in 525.

From Coal Miner to King

Faustin Wirkus was working in the coal mines of Pennsylvania when the promise of adventure called him to join the US Marines. Stationed in Haiti, he was enthralled by a tiny island off the coast called La Gonâve and applied to be stationed at the tiny outpost.