The only female emperor of the Mughal Empire, she was the favorite wife of Jahangir (the actual emperor) Nur-Jahan married her first husband aged seventeen but he was later executed for siding with the emperor’s enemies, leaving her a widow with a young daughter. She was soon brought to court to serve as a lady-in-waiting to one of the court ladies; it was here that Jahangir first saw her. They married two months later and her name Nur-Jahan means Light of the World. Within nine years of their marriage she had taken complete control of all of his duties and remained that way until his death in 1627. She did this by using her husband’s addiction to drugs and alcohol to her advantage—he needed her to keep him healthy and so she simply took the power away from him. She was not allowed to make royal decrees in public since she was a woman so all appointments were made through trusted men. She controlled all orders and grants in her husband’s name and oversaw all promotions and denotions within the government. Nur-Jahan oversaw giving land and dowries to orphan girls, had coins minted in her name and image, collected dues from outsiders carrying goods across the Empire, and traded with Europeans for luxury goods unavailable in the empire. She had unmatched wealth and owned ships to take people on pilgrimages to Mecca; she even encouraged poetry and held competitions amongst court women, once her husband died and his son Shah Jahan secured the throne he had Nur-Jahan exiled to Lahore where she lived out the last years of her life.