Ranavalona III was the last sovereign of the Kingdom of Madagascar. She ruled from July 30, 1883 to February 28, 1897. She died of an embolism at her villa in Algiers in 1917 at age 55. Her remains were disinterred 21 years later and shipped to Madagascar.
About Ranavalona III in brief
Ranavalona III was the last sovereign of the Kingdom of Madagascar. She ruled from July 30, 1883 to February 28, 1897. Ranavalona tried to stave off colonization by strengthening trade and diplomatic relations with foreign powers. French attacks on coastal port towns and an assault on the capital city of Antananarivo led to the capture of the royal palace in 1895. The outbreak of a popular resistance movement called the menalamba rebellion, and the discovery of anti-French political intrigues at court led the French to exile her to the island of Réunion in 1897. She died of an embolism at her villa in Algiers in 1917 at age 55. Her remains were disinterred 21 years later and shipped to Madagascar, where they were placed within the tomb of Queen Rasoherina on the grounds of the Rova of Antannaarivo. She was born Princess Razafindrahety on November 22, 1861, at Amparibe, a rural village in the district of Manjakazafy. As a young woman, she married an Andriana named Ratrimo. Her husband died several years later, aged 22, leaving her a premature widow. According to rumor, Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony may have arranged to haveRatrimo poisoned for political reasons. She continued her education throughout her adolescence at the Congregational School of Ambatonakanga, the Friends High School for Girls, and LMS Girls’ Central School. Her teachers consistently described her as ranking among their strongest students.
Her coronation took place in the neighborhood of Mahamasina on her 22nd birthday, where she was moved into a wooden house on the royal grounds of Tsarahatra, Tsarahafatra, on July 13, 1882. She married a member of the Hova elite named RainilayarivONY, who largely oversaw the day-to-day governance of the kingdom and managed its foreign affairs in his role as prime minister. She had a daughter, Ranavalonna II, who was selected by the queen to succeed her mother upon her death in 1883. She and her family were provided an allowance and enjoyed a comfortable standard of living, including occasional trips to Paris for shopping and sightseeing. The Aristocratic Revolution of 1863 had replaced the absolute rule of the AndriANA with a constitutional monarchy in which power was shared between an Andrianampoinimerina monarch and a Hova prime minister, effectively cemented by a political marriage between the prime minister and a ruling queen. This arrangement was to be cemented with the marriage between Rainilayaariviony and his brother, Rainivoninahitriniony. The queen’s son, King Andriantsimianatra, succeeded her as queen in 1885. The king died in 1887, and she was succeeded by her daughter, Queen Ranvalona II. In 1883, she was proclaimed queen upon the death of her predecessor.
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