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Labotsibeni Gwamile LaMdluli
When her husband inadvertently sold the country to colonial forces, this queen spent the rest of her life getting it back.
The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
A phenomenally successful archaeologist who became a fashion icon for wearing men's clothing.
When a neighboring tribe threatened the Yoruba, this queen went undercover as a spy to find their weakness.
One of the most powerful women in Zulu history, this cursed princess did what was necessary to protect the realm.
The first naval admiral of modern times, she protected her country from foreign invaders with aplomb.
When China invaded her native land, this would-be monk put down her pacifist dreams and took up arms.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the jolly black businesswoman who swore by folk remedies, in stark contrast to Florence Nightingale's by-the-book Victorian approach to medicine.
When her husband became deathly ill, this pregnant teen took the reins to become America's first female boat commander - all while fighting off a mutiny and keeping her husband alive.
When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, this beauty queen traded face powders for explosive ones.