Changing role and contribution of queens: Tiye, Nefertiti, Nefertari Tiye was from non-royal background and married Amenhotep early in his reign. The Marriage Scarabs clearly proclaimed Tiye's parents, Yuya and Thuya who were of non-royal background. She held the status of "Great royal wife" "Mistress of upper and lower Egypt" "lady of the two lands". Her name often appears in a cartouche and in reliefs and sanctuary she is often shown beside Amenhotep as the same size.
Amenhotep III undertook a massive building of a lake for Tiye, which shows he took pride in her. He also built a palace for Tiye at Malkata. Even some monuments indicate Tiye played an important part in Amenhotep's life. Evidence from the Amarna letters also indicate Tiye played an active role in foreign affairs. Foreign rulers wrote directly to her.
“To Tiye, Lady of Egypt. Thus speaks Tushratta, King of Mitanni. Everything is well with me. May everything be well with you. May everything go well for your house, your son, may everything be perfectly well for your soldiers and for everything belonging to you.”
Even when Amenhotep died the Mitanni king still wrote to her to maintain good relations. Early in Akhenaten's reign, he relied on advice from his mother Tiye regarding matters relating to the Mitanni. It is not known what role Tiye played in Akhenaten's religious reform, but she was still held in high esteem after the Aten collapse solidifying her importance to Egyptian society.
Arguably, to those who are not very involved in the study of ancient Egypt, Queen Nefertiti is perhaps better known than her husband, the heretic king Akhenaten. Undoubtedly, Akhenaten seems to have had a great love for his Chief Royal wife. They were inseparable in early reliefs, many of which showed their family in loving, in almost idealist compositions. At times, the king is shown riding with her in a chariot,...