Shagrat al-Durr, or Shajar al-Durr, (?—1259 CE) was an Egyptian queen of Turkish descent. She was one of the wives of Salih Ayyub, the Sultan of Egypt. In 1249, while her husband was abroad in Damascus, Shagrat al-Durr was left as his regent. The Frankish Crusaders, Louis IX at the helm, invaded and took control of the port city of Damietta. They threatened Egypt. In 1250, Salih Ayyub passed away, and Shagrat, in order to continue to rule during that dangerous time, pretended that he was only ill. Upon the arrival of her stepson, Turan, her husband’s son and heir, Shagrat announced Salih’s death, handing the power over to Turan. She still had a great amount of influence with Egypt’s top generals, as she was Turkish. The generals planned to have Turan assassinated, as he was not Turkish and not to be trusted. Around the same time, Shagrat strategized the battle against the French Crusaders, and her armies were victorious, and even took Louis IX as hostage. Turan was later assassinated, and Shagrat was put on the throne as Sultana May 2nd of 1250, and was considered to be queen regnant. This can be shown in that coins were struck in her name, and weekly prayers at mosques were dedicated to her. These were honors that were reserved only for the reigning monarch. As sultana, she negotiated with the French for peace, was successful, and let Louis IX return to France.
Her reign was not a long one, though, as Egypt was under the Caliphate of Baghdad. The Caliphate did not approve of women leaders, and thus asked Shagrat to resign. She did, and the Caliphate placed a Mamluk soldier on the Egyptian throne. Shagrat seduced him, married him, and became his queen during his rule. She ruled in his name for nearly seven years, before she murdered her husband when she heard that he was interested in taking another wife. She was murdered by slaves, who were under orders to kill her.