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Imprisonment wasn’t enough for Wu Zetian. She wanted her rivals dead. She sent executioners to cut off the women’s feet and hands, tie them up and throw them into a brewing vat to die slowly. What did she say? After leaving two of her fellow wives bloodied and beaten in a vat for brewing alcohol, Wu Zetian supposedly said, ‘Now these two witches can get drunk to their bones’. 39 Wu Zetian’s spite didn’t end there. Over the following years, she got rid of all her enemies – all the important men who had opposed her rise to power.

Henry got a fertile beauty who was the richest woman in Europe. Two years later, Henry became King of England. Between them they controlled all of England and the western part of France. 42 But their marriage was a stormy one. In the early years, they must have been on pretty good terms because they had eight children together. But the children grew older and began plotting against Henry for their shares of his power and territory. King Henry locked Eleanor up for siding with them. Henry died in 1189, before his wife.

After many battles, Zenobia’s army was finally defeated by Rome. Zenobia tried to escape by camel but was captured by the Romans at the River Euphrates. Most of her army was slaughtered but Zenobia talked her way out of being executed. Unlike Cleopatra, Boudicca and other warrior queens, Zenobia didn’t kill herself rather than be taken captive. Once she had dreamed of riding her golden chariot through the streets of Rome as its empress. Instead, she was paraded through the streets, chained by her own jewels.

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