Born a Princess
Cleopatra was born a princess of Egypt. Her father was the Pharaoh Ptolemy VII. Cleopatra was smart and cunning growing up. She was her father's favorite child and learned a lot about how the country was ruled from him.
Cleopatra's family had ruled Egypt for 300 years. They were the Ptolemy dynasty that had been established by the Greek ruler Alexander the Great. Even though they ruled Egypt, they were actually of Greek descent. Cleopatra grew up speaking, reading, and writing Greek. Unlike many of her relatives, however, Cleopatra also learned many other languages including Egyptian and Latin.
Even though she’s a princess, this has nothing to do with her finding a prince; it’s about her tenacity of character and the betrayal of family when the mythical world of Egypt, they live in, backfires. Cleo has no patience for the gods but has to use wisdom over weaponry to appease them in order to protect her family and the region.
Of course Cleo does become the rightful pharaoh of Egypt -- the last there would ever be, and she does so at the age of 15, with the hard won support of the commoners, something her father nor the family dynasty, ever had.
More than a wistful princess or kick-ass female, (although there is some of the latter), Cleopatra’s youth represents the reality of family dynamics and the practice of wisdom over weaponry.
Her story resonates today, not only because of the universality of the family dysfunction but for what she represents in such a male-dominated society swept up in the fanatacism of close-minded beliefs.
In an era when Egypt was roiled by internal and external battles, Young Cleopatra brings the country together and proves to be as powerful a leader as any of her male counterparts.