What Makes a Good King or Queen?

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Kings and queens have varied significantly throughout the ages, but there are common traits that apply to many of those who are looked upon favorably by history. Leadership is the crucial ingredient for a great king or queen, but leadership skills and strategies vary by culture, time and personality.

King Arthur is often considered one of the most beloved and legendary kings of all time. While some of his more fantastical tales are rumored to have been the work of imagination more than history, all scholars agree on his leadership skills. Nathan Currin of the King Arthur’s Knights website notes that King Arthur was known for striking a balance between benevolent ruler and fair yet uncompromising judge. Objectivity in leadership is one of the most crucial ingredients for a great king or queen.

Women in World History lists Queen Nefertiti, Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I as three of the greatest queens in history. While these three women came from vastly different backgrounds, they all shared confidence as a key personality trait that helped them rise to power and stay there. Elizabeth I was particularly known for her shrewd judgment and calculating ways, proving that the traits that make a great king or queen are not necessarily the same as those that make a great person.