What is a Dowager Queen?

Dowager Queen is the term used for the widow of a deceased king. In the Hittite period, it was common for the Queen to maintain her title and her duties after the King had died, especially in the case when her son, the next king was too young to fulfill his duties. It seems that queens in the Hittite period did not lose their positions after their husbands died and it is speculated that they would retain the title until their death meaning that the wife of the new king would not become queen until the previous queen had died. Needless to say that this protocol caused some political intrigue and the Dowager Queen was not always safe in her own home .