What It Was Like to be Egyptian Royalty


Sure, you may think
royal Egyptians had it made in the shade. But lounging and getting
carted around town and fanned by servants
was only a fraction of how they spent their time. For the most part, they
were insanely busy. When it came to royal duties,
ancient Egyptian royals were working overtime. Luckily for them, the perks
that came with the job were pretty sweet. Today, we’re exploring
what life was really like for an Egyptian royal. But before we time travel,
be sure to subscribe to the Weird History Channel. The bosses say they’ll let
my family go if you do oh. OK, great. Thanks. Thank you all. Thank you. Now, it’s time to set sail
down the Nile and dive into the everyday life
of an Egyptian royal. From around 3150
to 30 BC, Egypt was ruled by kings and
queens called pharaohs who, in addition to drinking
wine and eating like, well, kings spent their days
overseeing the religious, economic, cultural, and
political life of Egypt. For most of their waking
hours, pharaohs were constantly surrounded by people. Sorry, introverts. If you’re an Egyptian
royal, chances are you’d never get
a second to yourself. These royal entourage
members consisted of hangers on from the royal court, usually
officials, family members, noble servants, and
royal bodyguards. Luckily for the
royals, they mostly got to pick who hung
out with them, usually rewarding friends and relatives
with this sweet, sweet gig. What did you think, nepotism
was a modern concept? Yeah, no. Did you ever take a bath, and
get dressed, and think, wow, that was a lot of work. I wish a servant could’ve
done all of that for me. Well, if you were an Egyptian
royal, you’d be in luck. After rising from their
beds in the morning, pharaohs would be
met by servants who readied them for the day. These positions brought
servants in close proximity to the pharaoh, who
probably had pretty bad morning pharaoh breath. Servants would also
bathe the pharaohs. Some rulers, like Hatshepsut,
liked to perfume themselves with rich oils to underline
their high status, which wasn’t the worst
idea considering, they lived over 1,000
years before the invention of deodorant. After bathing, an
army of stylists that specialized in everything
from sandals to wigs would assemble the clothing. Wouldn’t you like to see
that makeover montage? Ancient Egyptian royals
couldn’t be caught dead without the ultimate
elite accessory. Wigs were serious
ordeal in ancient Egypt, so much that they even
had laws that outlined who could and could not wear wigs. Legally, slaves
could not wear wigs, and the more elite you were, the
better the quality of your wig. Royal wigs with
the most elaborate, and they sometimes included
gold and silver threads. Considering how hot ancient
Egypt must have been, those must have been some
sweaty and stinky wigs. Wigs weren’t just for
the tops of royal heads. Pharaohs sometimes wore beard
wigs for special events. Why an ancient pharaohs
wear beard wigs? Beard wigs became a symbol
of a pharaoh’s power, and they were worn to show that
they were living gods on Earth. With great power comes
great responsibility, a.k.a. back to back meetings. According to the Greek
historian Diodorus, all their acts were regulated
by prescriptions set forth and laws. Not only their
administrative acts, but also those that had to do with
the way in which they spent their time from day to day, and
with the food which they ate. The accuracy of this
assessment is debated, however. According to Egyptologist
Adolph Erman, Diodorus’ view of a
highly regimented day was probably more the
ideal than the reality. With all that power
at their fingertips, we can’t help but
imagine that they’d cancel on a meeting or two. Wouldn’t you? Nonetheless, pharaohs had
religious and legal duties, like participating
in ceremonies, and exercising judgment
to fulfill every day. And the routines were probably
well-regulated to manage the volume of tasks
expected of them. That’s one hell of a
hieroglyph filled day planner. [MUSIC PLAYING] Not a morning person? Well, too bad. Soon after pharaohs
woke up, they were briefed on
administrative matters and managed affairs with
a network of officials. They usually spent
their mornings receiving guests and
audiences, and putting out metaphorical fires. And that wasn’t optional. According to Diodorus,
these tasks were mandates. Imagine having an admin meeting
every single morning in a world where coffee wasn’t
yet invented. See? Being a king was hard. [MUSIC PLAYING] Limos or sports cars may
not have been invented yet but, that doesn’t mean pharaohs
didn’t travel in style. Ever heard of a sedan? No, not a four-door
car, but the chair with long poles
sticking out of it that allowed servants to
lift it off the ground and carry you as you sat. Whenever pharaohs stepped
out of the palace complex, they traveled in sedan
chairs carried by servants. Sure, these ancient sedans
may not seem as luxurious as a Ferrari, but they did have
air conditioning in the form of royal fan bearers. A fan bearer’s job could reflect
a close personal relationship with the pharaoh
himself, and it has been suggested that these fan
bearers may have been part of the pharaoh’s bodyguard. Sounds also like a good
way to keep the guns toned while keeping guard. Pharaohs weren’t
just kings of Egypt, they also claimed to be
a divining authority, serving as the intermediary
between humans and gods. Because of this magical
aspect to their title, their days were occupied
by a broad swath of religious duties, such as
making religious appointments, ordering the
building of temples, and participating in ceremonies. According to the Greek
historian Diodorus, pharaohs made daily
visits to the temple to become anointed, and offer
a sacrifice to the gods. Sacrifices were probably
symbolic and aimed to maintain order
in the kingdom. Even if pharaohs were
not always physically present at religious
ceremonies and rituals, their statues in temples
ensured that they were at least symbolically present. Did you ever wish you
could skip a meeting? Just send a statue
in your place. Being a member of Royalty
certainly had its perks. While Egyptian commoners mainly
subsisted on bread, beer, vegetables, and fish, the royals
enjoyed a more decadent diet. Royal banquets
might include dishes like goose, bull, and fresh
fruits like dates and figs. The royal court’s
alcohol of choice was wine, which was beyond
the means of most Egyptians. Sounds like a good time to us. Wouldn’t you love to chug some
wine and get full of bull? While the vast majority
of ancient Egyptians practiced monogamy, kings were
allowed to have multiple wives, and oh boy, did they love
flexing that bit of power. Male pharaohs had
a great royal wife, or chief, highest-ranking wife,
along with a number of lesser wives and concubines and harems. Those harems, according
to author Charlotte Booth, demonstrated the
wealth of the king. In other words, the
bigger the harem, the wealthier the pharaoh. Being a member of
the harem wasn’t all sunshine and
rainbows, especially considering the pharaoh
could demand appointments with a given wife every night. Yikes. These relationships all but
ensured the pharaohs generally had lots of kids. Ramses II, for
example, is reputed to have fathered
over 100 children by his wives and concubines. Considering his
triple digit amount of kids were in a different
designated part of the palace, it’s safe to say he wasn’t
the most hands on father. They did, however, have
access to tutors and nurses. Pharaohs might pass the time
by traveling through the city and attracting large crowds
of spectators along the way. Since pharaohs decided where
temples would be built, they might also stop
by a construction site. Though all pharaohs invested
in construction projects, Ramses II in particular
was a prolific builder. He used his building projects
as a form of propaganda to proclaim his power. Pharaohs were both gods
and real estate developers, a classic toxic
power combination. [MUSIC PLAYING] Only royals could hunt
big game, like lions. Though pharaohs sometimes
allowed other athletes to participate. Going on hunts
wasn’t a necessity. As kings, pharaohs
had all the food they needed prepared for them. But it was a form
of entertainment for king and court alike,
and they didn’t even need to have any
hunting skills to do it. Sometimes a game master
would pre-catch an animal for the king to dispatch. Cheating was OK, if
you were a pharaoh. But hunting wasn’t just
a way to blow off steam after a long day
of pharaoh duties. Pharaohs used the
royal hunt as a chance to demonstrate their
strength and showcase, in scholar Peter Lacovara’s
words, the king’s prowess in mastering the natural world. King Tutankhamen common appears
to have been no exception, and as seen in his burial
tomb depicts the young king returning from an ostrich hunt. Pharaohs may have played up
their connection to divinity, but the ancient Egyptian
rulers were just as mortal as everybody else. In fact, many of them were
probably straight up unhealthy. Frequent intermarriage
and incest produced shallow gene pools. King Tutankhamun for
example, probably suffered from genetic
problems that gave him a limp. The royals’ fatty, carb
heavy diets also took a toll. Pharaohs could be
overweight, and many of them suffered from heart disease. Hatshepsut was likely
diabetic and obese. These diet-related health
problems were somewhat ironic, given Diodorus’ claim that the
royal family’s whole diet was ordered with such
continence that it had the appearance of having
been drawn up not by a law giver, but by the most
skilled of their physicians, with only their health in view. Or maybe the royals just had
one too many cheap meals. [MUSIC PLAYING] Do you think your
family has baggage? Try being an Egyptian royal. Sometimes a pharaoh’s
authority was challenged by members of
his or her own family. 1155 BC, Ramses
III was done away with in something called
the harem conspiracy. In this instance,
one of his wives, Ti, probably orchestrated
the whole debacle so that her son could rule. Hatshepsut and her
present successor likewise had to deal with
fractious family members during the reigns. Cleopatra, the last
pharaoh of Egypt, consolidated her
authority by engaging in a civil conflict
with her younger brother and husband in 48 BC. If they’d only tried
family counseling first. Ancient Egyptian
royals certainly lived colorful and larger
than life existences. From packed workdays to
high octane playtime, there was never a dull moment
for these wig-clad pharaohs and their surrounding
entourages. What do you think of the lives
of ancient Egyptian royals with cheese? Let us know in our
comments below. And while you’re
at it, check out some of these other videos
from our “Weird History.”

100 Comments

  • What more on Egypt would you like to learn about?

  • See "Ancient Egyptian Art They Don't Show" here on YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWgDr5BqG8s&t=1231s

  • I Feel Like Some Of Those Rules You Could Just Decide To At Least Alter To Better Suit Your Needs. Marie Antoinette Did (Though She Was Greatly Hated For It) And Pharaohs Had The Advantage Of Being Seen As Just One Step Below A God.

  • Talk about Keezhadi civilization (600BC)

  • Please do more videos on medieval knights and stuff

  • They have hundred kids but why the kingdom ended?

  • Sun Rises*
    Pharoahs – Ah shit, here we go again

  • Love this! Been wanting this video for ever!

  • Never seen a picture of a fat ancient Egyptian. Why is that?

  • "ever heard of a sedan" *shows a wagon* like bruh come on

  • Itโ€™s pretty evident that leaders being spoiled wasnโ€™t an invention by the leaders themselves but more of an attempt by the people being led to ensure the leader can focus 100% of their living energy on effectively leading everyone. The goal was to reduce their stress and remove all responsibility beyond governance. They would live, Eat and sleep leadership.

  • Understand Ma'at and mast. Society was a reflection of mast and all classes had their jobs in society. Ma'at, the universal order, was reflected in all things and on all planes.

  • They look black to me

  • Funny how a middle class person today has a far better standard of living than a royal in ancient times.

  • My people ! Grandfathers and Grandmothers

  • What was it like to be Egyptian royalty?
    Answer: not white๐Ÿ˜Š

  • I should be studying for my us history final but im here watching what it wa slike to be egyptian royality

  • Oh thank Amun you didn't forget the harem. You can't forget the harem. Although I'm not sure, the Ramses III conspiracy didn't actually involve his death. I saw that because they were only trying to kill him by spells. But in Egypt that was as bad as a dagger in the heart so those people where mostly allowed to kill themselves as punishment.

  • Oh and that Ptolemaic dynasty was always trying to kill each other. That must have been a scary family to live in. Personally my entire family would be sent into exile because you just can't trust those closest to you.

  • I'd have slaves wait in long lines to suck my dick.

  • Oh man this was great im so subscribing ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Black pen in historical society

  • Being an Egyptian mofuka wak!

  • I subscribe buddy

  • why does this narrator sound like james woods tho

  • A Ferrari is not a sedan, duh!

  • I really enjoy your โ€œwhat it was like…โ€ videos! Maybe you could do more like that? I especially liked โ€œwhat it was like to be a Civil War soldier.โ€ Maybe you could do every era, like what it was like as a Revolutionary soldier, WW1, WW2, etc. Thanks!

  • What is music at 5:00?

  • This sounds better than living in a castle.

  • Good morning your Majesty, would you like the bad news or the really bad news first? ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • You know when a history lesson reached it's peak when it used Egyptian Lego people as a representation of the real one

  • The Pharaoh looks sadly at the schedule because his royal scribe wrote garbage in it?

  • So you can really just make up shit and call it history? And with such self-assurance? Hilarious!

  • Tut had more physical problems than just a limp bruh.

  • The wigs where for lice. Everyone shaved regularly.

  • What a dreadful place it's hot as hell and the only water source has alligators so you can't go swimming. And you gotta carry a big ass king around.

  • You mean the pharaohs could not even dress themselves? I know five year olds who can dress themselves!

  • I could never live without coffee. Thank God I was born into an Italian family

  • I lol'd at "stanky wigs" ๐Ÿ˜†

  • They sounded like terrible assholes.

  • ๐Ÿ‘

  • Look at Egypt now…filthy, enslaved women, "circumcised" young girls…horrible. From the greatest to the worst.

  • The African Americans that were transported mostly from west Africa had no history to cling to so they disparately are trying to claim Egyptians were black.

    Egyptians were caucasoids same as today and left arts and writing depicting clear differenes between them and African blacks. Mummies and writing every where in egypt proves the same. Egyptians are not black today or one thousand years ago or 5000 years ago. Historians do not pay attention to afrocentric black maniacs in America because they would claim that the moon was visited by Africans very time soon.

    If you have no history then claim one. That is what people that where migrated from west Africa few hundred years ago are thinking today. They have nothing to be proud of historically so they manufactured lies that do not stand a chance in the books of history and archeology. They see every thing in black white or yellow. So if a civilization on the medeterranian that is not built by European master's must be built by blacks..what a non logic

  • 00:40 Well, but booze was invented by then so I guess it wasn't thaaaaaaat bad, haha!
    Great video, cheers!

  • And then the "marrying your sister/ brother" was not weird at all…..

  • When I was 5 I would bring home books about mummies and my mom throught that i was creepy

  • What was it really like to be a Priest in Age of Empires

  • How would they put a beard wig on?

  • Being an average person today is better than being royalty back then, like now we have serious entertainment and godly food

  • People believe anything๐Ÿคก

  • Arabs have always been royal ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Yโ€™all and the pale ass Egyptians

  • Since they white washing Egypt ( KHEMET) we should Blackwash Khemerica. Ops Pop Culture is Hip Hop… ops they wanna be us so bad. Oops Kim Kardashian and the whole Kardashian clan… ops black fishing. Weโ€™re ngas tho. Do nothing bottom of the barrel ngAs. Give me my crown back Julius and stop playin dress up. The Roman Empire was not enough I see

  • this got randomly recommended to me lol.

  • Joking down history just doesn't work for me and also…. ANCIENT EGYPTIANS (PEOPLE OF KEMET) WERE ALL DARK SKINNED!!!

  • I finally clicked this.

  • Crazy how they try to make the queens of Egypt have that pale skin, when if u look at their writings and such…they had a bronze skin tone. I know we all come in many different shades but it matters because "they" make it "their" business to change up the truth and lie!!

  • Tonight I'll think I'll take my date out and wear my new beard wig… That should win her over. ๐Ÿ˜จ

  • I heard on a TV show that Egypt was the perfect community considering laws and loyalty.

  • Damn homies must've been having mad gangbangs the whole night lol

  • I am just curious…

  • I am just curious…

  • 4:03 Ancient Egyptians have been found to have ingested both the coffee bean, and the coca leavesใ€Šcocaineใ€‹

  • It's the same with today's royal families

  • They were dark skinned Africans. They werenโ€™t white or light skinned. Nice trying to white wash history

  • Interesting Info but annoying cheesy voice

  • I thought Egyptians were black

  • YouTube: here's two commercials forever

  • Nice little trump jab there bud

  • 1:58, Johnathan Van Ness!

  • U are never fully dressed without a wig , yessss me tooo sis

  • Introvert may can't stand Pharaoh life style, but introvert may end up as scientist (aka witch) or artist and spending their time finding formula to crearw medicine and amazing Egypt architecture & artefact.

  • ohhh

  • You scratch my cat's back, I'll scratch yours.

  • The Royal penis is clean Your Highness ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

  • Wasnโ€™t Cleo Greek? or Roman?

  • @ 0:46 , what are Black people doing in a video about Egypt?

  • 2:32 StAnKY

  • When I was Egyptian royalty it was.very hard.I couldn't even take a bath without a beautiful woman making me let her wash me.so it had it's ups a downs.

  • Gods and real estate developers AKA Emperor TRUMP. Long live God Emperor TRUMP!!

  • Inbreds!!

  • There was nothing "weird" about any of this information.

  • I like to bathe myself. I get really uncomfortable when people see me naked.

  • Japan royal history please!!!!!๐ŸŒฟ

  • Yup. Ancient Egyptians were def Black. Love how this fact is completely erased from the books ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜’ I wish I knew this as a kid.

  • My favourite ancient era ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  • I would LOVE to see that make over montage

  • Who needs coffee ..they had booze so it wasnt that bad

  • I would be the worst pharaoh ever.
    I don't like being surrounded by a lot of people.
    I don't like meetings.
    I don't like waking up early.
    I don't like sharing my husband with other wives.
    I don't like excessive attention.
    I don't like pain.
    I am paranoid and I am not strong or smart enough.
    But the wigs the make up and the styling are something I like ๐Ÿ˜

  • MY NAME IS AMON BASTET ๐Ÿ’– I WAN TO KNOW WHAT I WAS IN EGYPT IN 1019 AYRES A GO๐Ÿ’–AND I WAN TO KNOW. IF I AM A DESCENDANT OF ROYAL FAMILY OF ACENT EGYPT ๐Ÿ’– AND MY NAME WHAT IS MINT'S TO ME๐Ÿ’–

  • White actors?? Really ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜’

  • I just love how they tried to make them look white in the thumbnail ๐Ÿ’€ try again

  • How can i get this kind of music in the background? I really like it!

  • Africa is sooo beautiful and interesting ๐Ÿ’–

  • Some Pharaohs had flies kept off them by coating a slave in honey to attract the pesky bugs.

  • incest and homophilia

  • Can somebody please tell me what is the music that starts playing at 6:36 ?

  • Goths nowadays have eyeliner that would put Cleopatra to shame ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • 10/10 Narrator

  • I really wanted to know the Pharaoh's Love story

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