Which Monarchs Have Reigned the Longest In World History – Top 20
Who are the monarchs that have held their thrones the longest? KnowInsiders.com takes a look at the kings and queens of the globe that have held their thrones for the longest periods of time throughout history.
King Louis XIV of France, who ascended to the throne at the tender age of four, holds the record for longest reign at over 72 years.
Elizabeth would be far down the list of the longest-reigning monarchs in history if you included governments that were not universally recognized as sovereign for the most of their reign. Sobhuza II, who ruled Swaziland from 1899 to 1982, takes the cake. He ruled for a total of 82 years, 254 days.
Notwithstanding the fact that Her Majesty the Queen had the longest reign of any monarch in the world, Queen Elizabeth II held the record for the longest reign of any British monarch. After surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria in 2007, Queen Elizabeth II died on September 9, 2015, becoming her the longest-living British queen.
The following is a list of the 20 or more monarchs who have reigned the longest over states that have been recognized as sovereign by the world community for the majority or all of their reign. Have a look at the complete list that is provided down below:
Louis XIV took his responsibilities as King very seriously, earning him the mythical title of “Sun King.” Louis was the son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, his Spanish queen. On May 14, 1643, he succeeded his father.
He has a state named after him in the United States
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, a French explorer, decided to embark on a major expedition to Fort Crevecoeur in 1682. La Salle canoed down the Mississippi River with a group of Frenchmen and Native Americans, passing through the Mississippi basin along the way. La Salle took the territory from the natives in the name of France and named it La Louisiane after Louis XIV. The territory did not become American until 1803 when the United States purchased it.
After Louis XIV’s death, his heart was ravaged.
It is said that about a century and a half after his death, the eccentric Englishman William Buckland ate Louis XIV’s heart. Buckland was a geologist and paleontologist with an unusual desire to consume the entire animal kingdom. He was presented with the heart while dining with company at a country house in Oxfordshire, England. Buckland exclaimed, “I have eaten many strange things, but I have never eaten the heart of a king before,” and casually washed it down his throat before anyone could stop him, according to raconteur Augustus Hare.
After her father, King George VI, died unexpectedly in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne. She held the second position for 70 years and 214 days, reigning for 70 years and 214 days.
Full Name: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
Born: 21 April 1926 at 17, Bruton Street, Mayfair, London
Parents: George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Duke and Duchess of York, later George VI and Queen Elizabeth)
Predecessor: George VI
Ascended to the throne: 6 February 1952, aged 25 years
Crowned: 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Philip Mountbatten (Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh)
Children: Prince Charles (Prince of Wales), Princess Anne (Princess Royal), Prince Andrew (Duke of York) and Prince Edward (Earl of Wessex)
-Her favourite dogs were corgis
She even invented a new breed of dog when her corgi mated with a dachshund belonging to her sister, Princess Margaret, creating the “dorgi”.
-She was the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a licence
-Queen Elizabeth became a homeowner at just six years old
When the people of Wales gifted her a house in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge. It was named Y Bwthyn Bach, which means “little cottage”.
-In her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II sent around 50,000 Christmas cards
Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej is said to be one of the world’s wealthiest monarchs. He ascended to the throne in June 1946, after his older brother, King Ananda Mahidol, was found dead from a gunshot wound in his bed.
His name is actually pronounced pu-mee-pon.
Johann II ascended to the throne of Liechtenstein in 1852 and reigned until his death in 1929. He was a very private man, and never married or had any children. He was known as a generous and thoughtful patron of cultural projects, according to History.co.uk.
From July 615, K’inich Janaab Pakal ruled the Maya city-state of Palenque. As monarch, Pakal the Great expanded the reaches of Palenque and oversaw epic construction projects that resulted in some of the Maya civilisation’s most iconic monuments.
The Palace of Palenque, a sprawling labyrinth of rooms, courtyards, and sculptures, is a prime example. The Temple of the Inscriptions, however, is perhaps the most well-known of all Palenque’s landmarks, and the reason millions of people are familiar with this monarch without even realizing it.
In December 1848, Franz Joseph was crowned emperor of Austria. He would later be proclaimed King of Hungary, becoming the monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rule for the longest. Territorial conflicts and nationalistic unrest were prevalent during his time period, and sad events shook his personal existence.
One was the shocking passing of his only child, Archduke Rudolf, in 1889, who appeared to have committed suicide with his mistress Mary Vetsera. It caused a media phenomenon on a global scale, which devastated Franz Joseph and his devoted wife Elisabeth. She would pass away in horrific circumstances in 1898 after being stabbed by an anarchist in Geneva while on vacation.
The Maya city-state of Copán’s twelfth ruler was Chan Imix Kawiil. He went by the name Smoke Jaguar.
Sixteen days following the passing of Kak Chan Yopaat, Smoke Imix was crowned. He is believed to have ruled Copán for the greatest period of time, from 628 to 695. He is thought to have been born in 604 CE, and at the age of 23, he was crowned king. Over the first 26 years of his rule, archaeologists have found little trace of activity. But, in 652 CE, there was a rapid increase in the building of monuments, with two stelae being erected in the Great Plaza and another four in significant locations around the Copán Valley.
Ferdinand II, monarch of the Two Sicilies from 1830 (born January 12, 1810, Palermo [Italy]—died May 22, 1859, Caserta). He was the child of future king Francis I and Spanish infanta Mara Isabel, a descendant of the Bourbon family that had ruled Sicily and Naples starting in 1734.
The first steps Ferdinand II took after assuming the throne on November 8, 1830, gave the liberals in the kingdom cause for optimism. He freed political prisoners, reinstated army commanders accused of republicanism, and demonstrated his desire to establish excellent governance and reforms. Yet with time, he began to pursue an authoritarian course of action.
Full Name: Alexandrina Victoria
Born: 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace, London
Parents: Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Predecessor: William IV
Ascended to the throne: 20 June 1837, aged 18 years
Crowned: 28 June 1838 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Children: Victoria (Princess Royal), Albert Edward (Prince of Wales, later Edward VII), Alice, Alfred (Duke of Edinburgh), Helena, Louise, Arthur, Leopald, Beatrice
Succeeded by: Her son, Edward VII
James I, byname James The Conqueror, Spanish Jaime El Conquistador, (born Feb. 2, 1208, Montpellier, County of Toulouse—died July 27, 1276, Valencia, Valencia), the most renowned of the medieval kings of Aragon (1213–76), who added the Balearic Islands and Valencia to his realm and thus initiated the Catalan-Aragonese expansion in the Mediterranean that was to reach its zenith in the last decades of the 14th century.
Hirohito, original name Michinomiya Hirohito, posthumous name Shōwa, (born April 29, 1901, Tokyo, Japan—died January 7, 1989, Tokyo), emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He was the longest-reigning monarch in Japan’s history.
Hirohito was born at the Aoyama Palace in Tokyo, the son of the Taishō emperor and grandson of the Meiji emperor.
The Kangxi emperor was a skilled military commander who possessed great physical strength and archery proficiency. He devoted all of his boundless energy to his everyday administrative responsibilities. Nothing in the Chinese old imperial system was too petty to be personally scrutinized by the emperor.
Even the smallest scribal errors in the reports and memoranda that were given to Kangxi were thoroughly corrected. He frequently claimed that even during the war, when 300–400 documents arrived every day, he routinely handled all of the paperwork.
On November 10, 1720, Honoré Camille Léonor Grimaldi was born. He was the grandson of Prince Antoine I and the son of Louise-Hyppolite, both of whom passed away in 1731. When his father, Prince Jacques I, abdicated, Honoré ascended to the kingdom shortly after reaching 13 years old. During the War of the Austrian Succession, Prince Honoré III spent a significant portion of his time fighting alongside the Royal French Army against the English. In participating in the French triumph at Rocoux, Honoré III was injured.
Following the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, he was awarded the Cross of St. Louis for his conduct and given the title of Marshal of France.
Itzamnaaj Bahlam III, also known as Itzamnaaj B’alam, Shield Jaguar, was the Mayan king of Yaxchilan, which is today in the Mexican state of Chiapas. He lived from 647 to June 15, 742.
He became the ruler in October 681, and he remained in that position until his passing in June 742. The numerous structures and stelae that Itzamnaaj Bahlam III ordered during his rule—many of which can still be seen at Yaxchilan today—make him best known.
He was married to Lady Ik’ Skull, who briefly held the throne.
Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat was the greatest leader of the ancient Maya city-state of Quiriguá.
Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat ruled the city from 725 to 785 AD. The most significant event of his reign—and of Quiriguá’s history—occurred in AD 738 (188.8.131.52.6 on the Mayan calendar), when his forces defeated the city of Copán. The ruler of Copán, Uaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil (formerly known as “18 Rabbit”) was captured and later beheaded
Qianlong, the reign name (nianhao) of the fourth emperor of the Qing (Manchu) dynasty (1644-1911/12), was born in China on September 25, 1711, and died there on February 7, 1799. His six-decade rule (1735–96) was one of the longest in Chinese history.
Qianlong, who stood almost six feet tall, had a slim frame and an erect posture that he maintained throughout his life. Many people respected his strong constitution and passion for the great outdoors. In his private life, Qianlong had a close relationship with the empress Xiaoxian, whom he had married in 1727 and with whom he produced a son (in 1730) who he hoped would succeed him but who passed away in 1738.
King of Denmark and Norway from 1588 until his coronation in 1596 was Christian IV. Son of Sophie of Mecklenburg and Frederick II. Anna Cathrine of Brandenburg, his wife, passed away in 1612. In 1615, he later wed Kirsten Munk. More than 20 offspring, including Frederik III and Leonora Christine, were born to him.
When Christian IV was crowned, he had completed a comprehensive education. By creating favorable trading circumstances, for instance, he aimed to build his realm. He attempted to make Denmark the dominant Baltic power through military means, but his intervention in the Thirty Years War in 1625–1626 failed miserably. Following then, Sweden gradually rose to become the dominant force in the Nordic region. The King lost his right eye in a naval battle in 1644 with a Swedish force.
Full Name: George William Frederick
Born: 4 June 1738 at Norfolk House, St. James Square, London
Parents: Frederick Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
Predecessor: George II
Ascended to the throne: 25 October 1760, aged 22 years
Crowned: 22 September 1761 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Charlotte, daughter of Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Children: Ten sons and six daughters – George (Prince of Wales, later George IV), Frederick (Duke of York), William (Duke of Clarence and St Andrews), Charlotte (Princess Royal), Edward (Duke of Kent and Strathearn), Augusta Sophia, Elizabeth, Ernest Augustus (later King of Hanover), Augustus Frederick (Duke of Sussex), Adolphus (Duke of Cambridge), Mary (Duchess of Gloucester), Sophia, Octavius, Alfred, Amelia
Succeeded by: His son, George IV
When Louis XV assumed the throne in 1715, he earned the moniker “le Bien-Aimé” (the Beloved). In 1722, he returned the Court and the government’s headquarters to the Palace of Versailles, which had been vacant since Louis XIV’s passing.
He wed Marie Leszczyska in 1725, and she would be the mother of his heir. Louis XV made significant contributions to the Palace gardens as a devoted student of science, particularly botany. In addition, he had the Petit Trianon to be built for his mistress, Madame de Pompadour.
Pedro II, whose full name was Dom Pedro de Alcântara, was the second and final emperor of Brazil (1831–89) and was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 2, 1825. He died in Paris, France, on December 5, 1891.
The ailing economy saw stability and advancement under Pedro II’s leadership because he was a composed, responsible, and wise man. In place of sugar, he promoted the cultivation of coffee, and under his direction Brazil made tremendous advancements in the building of railroads, telegraphs, and cables. His leadership enabled him to have nearly unquestioned support for 40 years.
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