It usually occurs because there’s no other male heirs. This is the case of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II.
For Cleopatra, there was plenty of other choices. She was co-regent with her younger brother, who was about ten years old at the time when Cleopatra’s father died. Another younger brother was also in the pipeline. Other relatives from neighboring regions must have been eager for the job.
A ten year old is easy to bamboozle, but not if he’s guided by three powerful adult advisers. These advisors were plenty successful too, forcing Cleopatra to flee Egypt before the time when Julius Caesar made his home in the Alexandria palace and called a truce between the two siblings.
Cleopatra is on the list of the most well-known women in history. How did she learn the skills of statecraft? Of political survival?
Sure, she was intelligent, speaking at least nine languages. But a woman has to have learn from someone.
That’s what I want to know, but I don’t have the answer right now. I’m researching it, reading academic journal articles.
I haven’t found a scholar who seems to have tackled this question, so I’ll make my own theories. Because no woman gets to be that powerful without someone helping her.