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Thandie Newton as Cleopatra

Thandie Newton as Cleopatra
Apr 21st, 2010 by crystalpaul

It’s funny how as a society we have no real idea what the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra looked like, but still collectively revere her as an iconic beauty primarily because of her power (she was the last to rule Egypt as an Egyptian Pharaoh) and her ties to both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony and of course we can’t forget her suicide by snake bite. In general though the term “Queen” elicits imagery of someone who is above all others in terms of grace, beauty and intelligence just like the word “princess” might as well be synonymous with either the late Princess Diana or any one of the Disney princesses. Of course we know that, in reality, those qualities are simply stereotypes – just take a look at the Queen of England.

Nonetheless, Hollywood has a knack for extracting the fairytale out of any story and thus, Cleopatra is on our list of the most beautiful women ever. Elizabeth Taylor’s 1963 role in the epic film certainly helped in the image department but failed to acknowledge the Queen’s very probable ethnic background. Historians say that while she was Greek, she did learn Egyptian and requested her portraits to be in Egyptian style. As a Black woman it was comforting to think that one of the most beautiful women in the world looked more like me than Elizabeth Taylor but no one can really say for sure what she looked like. Who’s to say that people of Grecian descent weren’t brown-skinned forty something years before Christ?

Well now we can fret not. The beautiful Thandie Newton appears as Cleopatra in a series of photos that have been released to coincide with the Virgin Media Shorts film competition. And she looks gorgeous.


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