3 Real-Life Princesses Who Didn’t Need Magic to Kick Butt

Thanks to the wildly popular Disney movie, Frozen, princesses are not just for girls anymore. As a father of a son and a daughter, I am happy to see Disney featuring more powerful and empowered female characters. We don’t have to wait around for the next theatrical release for our next heroine. Nor do we have to dig through the archives of film and story.

A quick search of our own human history reveals a plethora of incredible woman of power, courage, and influence. Some led lives of incredible caring and selflessness. Some were ruthless warriors. Some were princesses.

Here is a list of 3 real-life princesses who didn’t need magic to kick butt:

Zhao of Pingyang

In the times of the Dynasties in ancient China, Zhao was ordered to go into hiding by her father who was planning to overthrow the ruling dynasty. He knew if his plot failed his family would be hunted down and killed. Furthermore, it was likely assassins would be sent to exterminate all those close to him as soon as the rebellion began. He only wished to protect his daughter.

Princess Zhao hid for a time but soon grew restless and wanted to take action. Using her family’s wealth, she was able to assemble a small army. This was no small feat given the fact it would be deemed dishonorable to serve under a woman. However, the people believed in Zhao’s cause and were unhappy with the current dynasty. Plus, Zhao was very generous and provided the people with fine foods and beverages. Soon her small army grew into a formidable militia. Zhao then led her army into battle and was a major player in the success of her father’s rebellion which led to the creation of the Tang Dynasty.

Khutulun of Mongolia

Khutulun was a princess of Mongolia’s famous and mighty Khan family. When it came time for her to get married, she declared she would only marry a man who could beat her in a wrestling match. If the challenging suitor should lose the match, they would owe her his horse or horses. Legend has it, by the time she was married, she had won 10,000 horses. Which man was powerful enough to defeat the mighty princess? None. She eventually fell in love and decided to forgo the challenge in order to marry her prince.

Olga of Kiev

A failed attempt at overtaking Kiev’s royal family left Princess Olga a widowed mother of the future King of Kiev, who was at the time only 3 years old. The assailants then tried to coerce Olga to marry their prince thereby usurping power from the future king and putting control of Kiev in their hands. In a ruse to appear diplomatic, Olga set up a meeting to arrange the marriage.

When the diplomats arrived to meet with Olga, they were ambushed by her soldiers. Once captured she had them put to death by being buried alive. Immediately after, she sent one of her diplomats to send the good news of her acceptance of the marriage proposal. She issued a invitation to their highest government and military leaders to a formal gathering at her residence to firm up the details.

Upon their arrival Olga prepared the bathhouse for her guests to clean up and ease the pains of travel. Once inside and comfortable, she had the doors locked from the outside. Her soldiers then lit the bathhouse on fire, burning the men inside alive.

What happened next is part history, part legend. All you need to know is she had their city burned and sold off the survivors as slaves. Don’t mess with Olga.


The Beginning
About James Hudyma

Dad. Husband. Teacher. Canadian. Guitar Picker. Songwriter.

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