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Later Reign

Ramses the Great - The Pharaohs - The People

The Infamous Pharaoh who built many of the best known Monuments that remain standing today

We do not have a specific confirmed Regnal Year for the date of Queen Nefertari death, but it appears to have been before Ramses celebrated Regnal Year 30 as she does not appear in the Heb Sed Festival that he undertook.

After she died Pharaoh understood that his regal, secular, administrative, diplomatic, political, visual, and religious positions need to come before his personal loss. He appointed his secondary long-term wife, Isetnofret, to be his Great Royal Wife.

Sadly, for Ramses, Queen Isetnofret, also soon passed away so Pharaoh then turned to family. He appointed more than one of his own daughters as Great Royal Wives. Dividing the role between more than one wife with the Egyptian state forever growing in power and territory seems to be a clever strategic move.

But why choose his own daughters as his Great Royal Wives? Although it may seem unorthodox today, the Pharaohs found the marriage of a daughter to her father to continue a Great Royal Wife’s role as keeping within the religious and moral roles as well as offering continuity to Egypt as a whole.

Logically, a family member was better than an outside wife to be entrusted with this highly visual role. A daughter would be bound not just through marriage but as a child to a parent and be honour bound to follow the Pharaoh’s directions.

Ramses Heb Sed Festival was celebrated as the Pharaoh’s revitalisation as a living deity during his 30th Regnal Year. It was undertaken to confirm the Pharaoh was still working hand in hand with the Will of the Deities and that he remained physically fit enough to rule.

Due to Pharaoh’s long reign and the need to Pharaoh to “refresh” him Heb Sed Festival standing ever 3 years thereafter, he would have celebrated approx. 13 Heb Sed Festivals in total. To learn more about what happened at the Heb Sed Festival, click here.

Pharaoh Ramses II’s long reign was coming to an end after he had spent 66 years ruling and was around the age of 90 years old.

His health had weakened in the previous years, and he was living with arthritis, suffering from old battle wounds and unhealed fractures, teeth cavities and deterioration, and artery issues near the end of his time as King.