Author(s): T. van Basten
Hatshepsut was arguably the most powerful female to rule as pharaoh during its long and storied history in the wealthy Egypt of the New Kingdom. Her rule was highly unconventional, yet she had the support of the power brokers at the time. Somehow, during her long reign as pharaoh with her stepson, she managed to maintain positive relationships with the right constituency, as well as her co-ruler. It would seem likely that, if there was internal strife within the royal house as to the moves made by Hatshepsut, there would be some documentation or indication of this tension in the historical record. As of the time of this writing, no evidence of poor relations or civil strife has ever been found.
Growing up in a powerful royal family, she was, from birth, a woman of greater power than ordinary. As the only surviving daughter of the pharaoh Thutmose I, it was known early on that her destiny was to be Queen. This means that she had the benefits of education and training that most could not even dream of receiving. Her early participation in religious rituals and rites also helped her develop connections with highly influential people within the cult of Amun that was growing immensely in power and wealth during the New Kingdom.
As it turns out, her destiny had something far greater in store. She did not come to power all at once, nor did she take or keep the throne by force. She married her half-brother and incoming pharaoh, Thutmose II, at a very young age. From all accounts, her husband was very reliant on Hatshepsut's opinion and input. This gave her an unprecedented level of power for a woman.