Mary as the Queen of Heaven

In the Jewish culture, a Davidic King would have his mother as Queen rather than his wife, because he rarely had one wife, but many wives. Sharing power with many wives would be much too difficult, but he had only one mother and she was given the title of Queen. Almost every time a new king is introduced in 1 and 2 Kings, the king’s mother is mentioned. She was a member of the royal court, wore a crown, sat on a throne, and shared in the king’s reign (2 Kings 24:12, 15; Jer. 13:18–20). She acted as counselor to her son (Prov. 31), an advocate of the people, and as an intercessor for the citizens of the kingdom (1 Kings 2:17–20). Since Jesus is a King based on the order of David, it makes sense that His mother would be called Queen.

Psalm 45 depicts Christ as King and at his side is a Queen.

Psalm 45:9
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir

So who is this Queen? Scripture puts forth Mary as our Queen in a grandiose description found in Revelation. In a vision of heaven, we are shown that the Ark of the Covenant is present in the temple.
Revelation 11:19
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

The mention of the Ark is odd, since it had been done away with when the Glory of God had left that Ark, but the Orthodox teaching is that Mary is a type of the new Ark. This is further expressed by the verses that follow showing a sign of a woman in heaven.
Revelation 12:1
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

And then to specifically designate who this woman is,
Revelation 12:5
She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.

The male child described is Jesus, which implies that the woman is Mary.

Some will argue that the woman is not Mary, but Israel, as some of the verses do not appear to reference Mary. And they would be correct. There are many prophecies that have multiple meanings or multiple references. A good example is a prophecy many Christians are familiar with.

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

We all are familiar with this verse and know it refers to the virgin birth. But when you read more of the prophecy it gets a bit more complicated.
Isaiah 7:14-18
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. The Lord will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”

It would be a strange theology to teach that there was a time when Jesus didn’t know how to refuse the evil and choose the good. This prophecy was also partially fulfilled in the time before Christ’s birth when a child named Immanuel was born as a sign that God was still with Israel.(Isaiah 8:8) Given the way this very popular prophecy was used to speak of Christ in the New Testament as well as Immanuel in the Old Testament, it is reasonable that the prophecy in Revelation could be used the same way. It can describe both Israel and Mary.

The prophecy describes Mary in very grand terms pointing to her royal status. She wears a royal crown pointing to the 12 tribes or to the 12 apostles symbolizing her queenship in the new kingdom. The moon under her feet represents her dominion and victory over her enemies. Then finally clothed with the sun. This is an important woman! This is the Queen of Heaven!

Quotes from the Early Christians
"Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me." St. Ephrem the Syrian (4th Century)

"the Queen of mortal man, the most holy Mother of God." Patriarch St. Modestus of Jerusalem (7th Century)

In a sermon about the death of Mary, "Today He transports from her earthly dwelling, as Queen of the human race, His ever-Virgin Mother, from whose womb He, the living God, took on human form." Archbishop St. Andrew of Crete (8th Century)