Queen Ranavalona III, Madagascar’s last Queen, Antananarivo, Madagascar, ca.1890
"Ranavalona III". Madagascar’s last Queen sitting on her throne chair dressed in royal garments. She is sitting in a beautiful throne chair. Beside her on the table a great large Bible. The picture taken in her palace, Rova.
Queen Ranavalona III was the last Queen of Madagascar. She reigned from 1883-1896. Then Madagascar became a French colony and she was exiled. She died in Algeria in 1917. Her grave is in Madagascar.
She came to the throne in 1883 at age 18. This was a turbulent time, when Madagascar was at war with France. The war ended in the peace treaty of 1885 that ceded to France control over Madagascar’s foreign affairs.
During her reign, Queen Ranavalona III tried to thwart both French and British designs to control Madagascar by turning to the nation’s strategic trading partner—the United States—for support. Despite the queen’s efforts, her fate was sealed when the French finally invaded and colonized Madagascar in 1896. They abolished the Merina monarchy and exiled Queen Ranavalona III to Algeria, where she died in 1917.