Junk history is embodied perfectly in a recent viral meme that portrays a nineteenth-century Persian princess with facial hair alongside the claim that 13 men killed themselves over their unrequited love for her. While it fails miserably at historical accuracy, the meme succeeds at demonstrating how easily viral clickbait obscures and overshadows rich and meaningful stories from the past.

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“During her lifetime, [Queen] Margrete held numerous titles. The least important of these were the ones she gained at birth and through marriage. Those she earned demonstrated an unprecedented display of respect and trust independent of her relationship to any man.”

Excerpted from “The Lady King Who United Medieval Scandinavia“.

A true visionary doesn’t claim to be a visionary. A genuine leader doesn’t require an authoritative title. Margrete Valdemarsdatter of Denmark asserted neither prerogative, and yet her vision for a unified Scandinavia and her ability to realize and effectively lead that union make her one of history’s most important rulers.