History’s Longest-Reigning Monarchs

Earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth II of Australia and the other 15 Commonwealth realms reached 68 years on the throne, making her the longest-reigning and longest-lived monarch in our (and the other Commonwealth realms’) history, as well as the oldest living current or former monarch, oldest current world leader, and longest-serving current leader.

[Edit 21 Dec 2020: Queen Elizabeth’s length of reign updated, and she has moved a spot up.]

So, now’s as good a time as any to look at the longest reigns recorded in history.

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Kōan

This guy really takes the title; he became Emperor of Japan in 392 BC at the age of 35 (give or take a couple years), after the death of his father Kōshō.  He reigned until his death in 291 BC at the age of about 136, after an impressive reign of 101 years.  He was succeeded by his son Kōrei.

Suinin

Surprisingly, Kōan has close competition – and from his own country, too.  Suinin became Emperor of Japan in 29 BC at the age of 40 – after the death of his father Sujin – and reigned until his death in 70 AD in the age of 138, after a reign of 99 years.  He was succeeded by his son Keikō.

Pepi II Neferkare

The dates of his reign are uncertain; what is known is that he became Pharaoh of Egypt at the age of 6 – after the death of his father Merenre Nemtyemsaf I – and according to both ancient sources that document the length of his reign, he reigned for between 90 and 94 years.  Modern historians dispute this, but even the most conservative estimates – a reign of about 63 years – still puts him on the list of history’s longest-reigning monarchs.

Taejo

He became the 6th King of Goguryeo in 53 AD at the age of 6, and reigned until he was deposed in 146 at the age of 99, after a reign of 93 years.

Nintoku

The 16th Emperor of Japan assumed the throne in 313 AD at the age of 56, and reigned until his death in 399 at the age of 142, after a reign of 86 years.

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Sobhuza II

Considered the longest-reigning monarch with an exact date of reign, he became King of Swaziland on 10 December 1899 at the age of 5 months, and reigned until his death on 21 August 1982 at the age of 83, after a reign of 82 years, 254 days.

Kōshō

The ancient Japanese certainly had a thing for longevity; the father and immediate predecessor of the longest-serving monarch ever (Koen, mentioned above) became his country’s Emperor in 475 BC at the age of 26, and reigned until his death in 393 BC at the age of 108, having ruled for 82 years.

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Bernard VII the Bellicose

He became Lord of Lippe on 12 August 1429 at less than a year old, and reigned until his death on 2 April 1511 at the age of 82 – after a reign of 81 years, 234 days.

Ermanaric

He became a King of the Goths in 296 AD and reigned until his death in 376, after a reign of 80 years.

Mahanyod

He became King of Hariphunchai in 670 AD, and reigned until 750, after a reign of 80 years.

Raja Sawai Basavalinga I

The first King of Sundem, a state in India, he reigned from 1763 until 1843 – a reign of 80 years.

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William IV

The Holy Roman Empire was certainly no stranger to long-lived rulers; Will here reigned as Princely count of Henneberg-Schleusingen from 26 May 1480 until his death on 24 January 1559 – a rule of 78 years, 243 days.

Jangsu

The 20th King of Goguryeo ascended the throne in 413 AD at the age of 19, and reigned until his death in 491 at the age of 96 or 97, after a reign of 78 years.

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Heinrich IX

He reigned over Reuss-Greiz from 17 March 1723 until his death on 28 June 1800, ruling for 77 years, 103 days.

Mirian III

A saint in the Georgian Orthodox Church and contemporary of Roman Emperor Constantine I, he became King of Iberia in either 268 or 284 AD, and reigned until either 345 or 361, ruling for 77 years.

Raisingh Deo

He became the first Maharaja of Patna in 1685 and reigned until 1762 – after a reign of 77 years.

Mohan Singh

He became the first Rawat of Rajgarh in 1638, and reigned until his death on 14 April 1714, having a reign of 76 years.

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Christian Augustus

He became Count Palatine of Sulzbach on 14 August 1632 at the age of 10, and reigned until his death on 23 April 1708 – a total reign of 75 years, 253 days.

Jimmu

The very first Emperor of Japan, he came to the throne on 11 February 660 BC at the age of 51, and reigned until his death on 9 April 585 BC at the age of 126, after a reign of 75 years and 57 days.  He was succeeded by his son Suizei.

Kōrei

The son of Koan, he became Emperor of Japan in 290 BC at the age of 52, and reigned until his death in 215 BC at the age of 127, after a reign of 75 years.

Tai Wu

The most ancient person on this list, he became King of China in 1486 BC and reigned until death in 1411, after a reign of 75 years.

Vakhtang I

Another Georgian Orthodox saint, he became King of Iberia in either 447 or 449 AD, and reigned until 522, after a reign of 75 years.

Johann Philipp

He became the last Lord of Stadion in 1666, was upgraded to the first and only Baron in 1686, and finally to Count in 1705, ruling until 1741, ruling for a total of 75 years.

Sukachain

The 3rd Raja of Jind, he came to the throne in or around 1676, ruling until 1751, reigning for about 75 years.

Mudhoji IV Rao Naik Nambalkar

An Indian, he reigned as Raja Shrimant of Phaltan from 7 December 1841 until 17 October 1916, for 74 years, 315 days.

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Bhagvatsinhji

He became Maharajah of Gondal on 14 December 1869 at the age of 4, and reigned until his death on 5 March 1944 at the age of 78, after a reign of 74 years, 87 days.

Yo-Tha

He became King of Hariphunchai in 1197 and ruled until 1271, for 74 years.

Wilhelm I

He became Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein – a state within the Holy Roman Empire – in 1494 and reigned until 1568, ruling for 74 years.

Johann III

He became Count of Sponheim-Starkenburg in 1324 at the age of about 9, and reigned until his death on 30 December 1398 at the age of about 83, after a reign of 74 years.

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George William

He became Count of Schaumburg-Lippe on 13 February 1787 at the age of 2, and was elevated to Prince on 15 December 1807 at the age of 22 (almost 23), and reigned until his death on 21 November 1860 at the age of 75 – after a reign of 73 years, 282 days.

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Charles Frederick

Well, this guy had a colourful career.  He became Margrave of Baden-Durlach on 12 May 1738 at the age of 9.  He held this position until 21 October 1771 when – at the age of 42 – he became Margrave of Baden.  He held this position until 27 April 1803 when – at the age of 74 – he was created the first Elector of Baden.  He held this position until 25 July 1806, when – at the age of 77 – he became the first Grand Duke of Baden (after the fall of the Holy Roman Empire), a position he would hold until his death on 10 June 1811 at the age of 82, having reigned over all or part of Baden for a total of 73 years, 29 days.

Fazl Ali Khan II Bahadur

He became Nawab of Banganapalle, a state within the Mughal Empire, in 1686, and reigned until 1759 – 73 years.

John Louis I

The posthumous son of John II, he became Count of Nassau-Saarbrücken upon his birth on 19 October 1472, and reigned until his death on 4 June 1545, ruling for 72 years, 228 days.

Henry Frederick

He became Count of Hohenlohe-Langenburg on 29 January 1628 at the age of 2, and reigned until his death on 2 June 1699 at the age of 73, after reigning for 71 years, 188 days.

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Louis XIV the Great

Born on 5 September 1638, he became King of France and Co-Prince of Andorra on 14 May 1643 at the age of 4, and reigned until his death on 1 September 1715 at the age of 76, having ruled for 72 years, 110 days.

Zhao Tuo

A Chinese general, he became King of Nanyue in 208 BC at the age of about 32, and reigned until his death in 137 BC at the age of 103 – after a reign of 71 years.

Simon I

He became Lord of Lippe in 1273 at the age of about 12, and reigned until his death on 10 August 1344 at the age of about 83, after a reign of 71 years.

Heinrich VIII

He became Count of Fürstenberg-Wolfach in 1419 and reigned until 1490 – a reign of 71 years.

Parashuramrao Shrinivas

He became Raj of Aundh on 30 August 1777, as an infant.  He reigned until his death on 11 June 1848 at the age of 70, after a reign of 70 years, 286 days.

Francis Charles

Born in 1626, he became Count of Fürstenberg-Donaueschingen on 15 November 1627 at the age of about 1, and reigned until his death on 19 July 1968 at the age of about 72, having reigned for 70 years, 246 days.

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Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great/Rama IX

Born on 5 December 1927, he became King of Thailand on 9 June 1946 at the age of 18, and reigned until his death on 13 October 2016 at the age of 88, having ruled for 70 years, 126 days.Johann II v Liechtenstein.jpg

Johann II the Good

Born on 5 October 1840, he became Prince of Liechtenstein on 12 November 1858 at the age of 18, and reigned until his death on 11 February 1929 at the age of 88, having ruled for 70 years, 91 days.

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Karl August

He became Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Duke of Saxe-Eisenach on 28 May 1758 at the age of less than a year, ruling the two duchies in personal union until they merged in 1809, subsequently ruling as the first and only Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach from then until 1815, and subsequently as the first Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach from 1815 until his death 14 June 1828 at the age of 70, having reigned in total for 70 years, 17 days.

Pandukabhaya

He became King of Upatissa Nuwara and King of Anuradhapura in 437 BC at the age of 37, and reigned until his death in 367 BC at the age of 107, after a reign of 70 years.

Johann Ulrich

He became Lord of Stadion in 1530, and reigned until 1600, a reign of 70 years.

Muhtarram Shah Kator I

He became sovereign of Chitral in 1585 and reigned until 1655 – 70 years.

Jagatjit Singh

He became the last Raja of Kapurthala in India on 3 September 1877 at the age of 4, and the state’s first Maharaja on 12 December 1911, reigning until 15 August 1947, after a total reign of 69 years, 347 days.

Shapur II the Great

He became Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire in 309 immediately upon birth, and reigned until his death in 379 at the age of 69 or 70 – after a reign of 69 or 70 years.

Tsugphud Namgyal

He became King of Sikkim in 1793 at the age of 8, and reigned until his death in 1863 after a reign of 69 or 70 years.

Alberico I Cybo-Malaspina

He reigned over Massa and Carrara from 6 June 1553 until 18 January 1623, for 69 years, 226 days.

Werner

He reigned over Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck from 31 October 1559 until 16 February 1629, for 69 years, 108 days.

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Heinrich Joseph Johann

Born on 24 June 1697, he became Prince of Auersperg on 7 November 1913 at the age of 16, and reigned until his death on 9 February 1783 at the age of 85 years, having ruled for 69 years, 95 days.

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Frederick V and I

Born on 21 September 1415, he became Duke of Styria (as Frederick V), Duke of Carinthia (as Frederick I) and Duke of Carniola (as Frederick I) on 10 June 1424 at the age of 8, and reigned until his death on 19 August 1493 at the age of 77, having reigned for 69 years, 70 days.  (He also reigned as Holy Roman Emperor as Frederick III from 19 March 1452 until his death.)

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George William

Born on 6 August 1591, he became Duke of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld on 16 December 1600 at the age of 9, and reigned until his death on 25 December 1669 at the age of 78, having ruled for 69 years, 9 days.

Huan

He became Duke of Qi in 636 BC and reigned until 567 BC, after a reign of 69 years.

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Elizabeth II

Born on 21 April 1926, she became Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen of Canada, Queen of Australia and Queen of New Zealand on 6 February 1952 at the age of 25, and continues to reign to this day at the age of 94, having ruled for 68 years, 350 days and counting.  She also became Queen of Jamaica on 6 August 1962 at the age of 36, and has reigned since then, having ruled for 58 years, 168 days and counting.  She has also reigned over 27 other countries at various times, but none as long as these.  They’re too many to list here.

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Frederick V

Born on 30 January 1748, he reigned as Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg from 7 February 1751 until his death on 20 January 1820 at the age of 71, having ruled for 68 years, 347 days.

Vikramatji Khimojiraj

Born on 1 April 1819, he became Rana of Porbandar State in India on 20 June 1831 at the age of 12, and reigned until his death on 21 April 1900 at the age of 81, having ruled for 68 years, 305 days.

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Krishnaraja Wadiyar III

Born on 14 July 1794, he became Maharaja of Mysore on 30 June 1799 at the age of 4, and reigned until his death on 27 March 1868 at the age of 73, having ruled for 68 years, 271 days.

Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II

He reigned as Sultan of Kedah from 15 February 1710 until his death on 23 September 1778, having ruled for 68 years, 220 days.

John Frederick

He reigned as Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen from 10 January 1681 until 23 June 1749, having ruled for 68 years, 164 days.

Sawant Singh

He reigned as Maharawat of Pratapgarh from 26 October 1775 until 5 January 1844, having ruled for 68 years, 71 days.

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K’inich Janaab’ Pakal I the Great

Born on 23 March 603 AD, he became Ajaw of Palenque on 29 July 615 at the age of 12, and reigned until his death on 31 August 683 at the age of 80, having ruled for 68 years, 33 days.

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Christian Karl Reinhard

Born on 17 July 1695, he led Leiningen-Dagsburg from 3 November 1698 until his death on 17 November 1766, ruling for 68 years, 13 days.

Jingū

The first Empress of Japan – as opposed to consort – she gained the throne in her own right in 201 AD at the age of 32 after the death of her husband Chūai, and reigned until her death in 269 at the age of 100, after a reign of 68 years.

Malojirao III

He became Raja of Mudhol in 1737 and reigned until 1805, for 68 years.

Ernst II

He reigned as Count of Oettingen-Wallerstein from 1602 until 1670 – 68 years.

Albert Azzo II

He became Margrave of Milan in about 1029, and reigned until his death on 29 August 1097, after a reign of about 68 years.

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Franz Joseph I

Born on 18 August 1830, he became Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, King of Dalmatia, King of Croatia, King of Slavonia, King of Galicia and Lodomeria, Grand Duke of Krakow, Duke of Salzburg, Duke of Styria, Duke of Carinthia, Duke of Carniola, Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia, Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, Duke of Oświęcim, Duke of Zator, Duke of Teschen, Princely Count of Hapsburg, Princely Count of Tyrol, Princely Count of Gorizia and Gradisca, Prince of Trent and Brixen, Duke of Lower Lusatia, Margrave of Istria, Count of Hohenems, Count of Feldkirch, Lord of Trieste and Lord of Cattaro on 2 December 1848 at the age of 18, and reigned until his death on 21 November 1916 at the age of 86, having ruled for 67 years, 355 days.

Ram Singh

Born in 1811, he became Maharao Raja of Bundi on 14 May 1821, and reigned until his death on 28 March 1889, having ruled for 67 years, 318 days.

Malietoa Tanumafili II

Born on 4 January 1913, he became Mālietoa of Samoa, one of the country’s four Paramount Chiefs, on 7 January 1940 at the age of 23, and ruled until his death on 11 May 2007 at the age of 94, having held the position for 67 years, 124 days.

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Henry III and IV the Illustrious

Born about 1215, he became Margrave of Meissen (as Henry III) and Margrave of Lusatia (as Henry IV) on 18 January 1221, and reigned until his death on 15 February 1288, having ruled for 67 years, 28 days.

Sujin

The ancient Japanese certainly didn’t have a problem with an unstable monarchy; Sujin became Emperor in 97 BC at the age of 51, and reigned until his death in 30 BC at the age of 118, after a reign of 67 years.

Mahmud Shah II

He became Sultan of Perak in 1653, and reigned until 1720, a rule of 67 years.

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Eleanor

One of the most powerful European women of the Middle Ages, she became Duchess of Aquitaine upon the death of her father William X on 9 April 1137, and reigned until her death on 1 April 1204, after having ruled for 66 years, 358 days.  She married firstly King Louis VII of France, and subsequently King Henry II of England, and thus was Queen Consort of both countries.  She became the mother of 3 English kings – Henry the Young King, Richard the Lion-Heart and John – and as required by Medieval law, made first her husbands and then her sons joint rulers of the Duchy with her.  She’s also my direct ancestress.

Sulaiman Sharif ul-‘Alam Shah

He reigned as Sultan of Serdang from 20 December 1879 until 13 October 1946, ruling for 66 years, 298 days.

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Constantine VIII

Born in 960 AD, he became junior Eastern Roman Emperor on 30 March 962 at the age of 1 or 2, ruling jointly with first his father Romanos II, then his stepfather Nikephoros II Phokas, then his stepcousin John I Tzimiskes, and finally his brother Basil II until 15 December 1025 when he became sole Emperor at the age of 64 or 65, continuing to reign until his death on 11 November 1028 at the age of 67 or 68, having ruled for a total of 66 years, 226 days.  He was also my distant uncle.

Amarsinhji Banesinhji

Born on 4 January 1879, he became the last Maharana Raj Sahib of Wakaner on 12 June 1881 at the age of 2, and reigned until the merger of the state on 15 February 1948, having ruled for 66 years, 208 days.

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Khengarji III

Born on 23 August 1866, he became Maharaja of Kutch on 19 December 1875 at the age of 9, and reigned until his death on 15 January 1942 at the age of 75, having ruled for 66 years, 27 days.

Ramesses II

The exact dates of his reign are unknown – other than that he reigned in the 700s BC, despite false chronology putting him in the 1200s – but the most famous Pharaoh of Egypt assumed the throne at the age of 30, and reigned until his death at 96, ruling for 66 years.

Henry VI

He became Count of Henneberg-Aschach in 1292 at the age of about 12, and reigned until his death between 14 August 1355 and 26 January 1356 at the age of between 74 and 76, reigning for about 65 or 66 years.

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Basil II

Born circa 958 AD, he became junior Eastern Roman Emperor on 22 April 960, ruling jointly with his brother Constantine VIII, his father Romanos II, his stepfather Nikephoros II Phokas and his stepcousin John I Tzimiskes until 10 January 976, when he became senior Emperor (but not sole, with his brother Constantine VIII serving as junior co-Emperor throughout his reign), ruling until his death on 15 December 1025, having reigned for 65 years, 237 days.  He was also my distant uncle.

Leopold III

Born on 10 August 1740, he became Prince of Anhalt-Dessau on 16 December 1751 at the age of 11, ruling over the principality until it was upgraded to a Duchy in 1807, and continuing to reign over the duchy until his death on 9 August 1817 at the age of 76, having ruled for 65 years, 236 days.

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Ferdinand III and I

Born on 12 January 1751, he reigned as the last King of Sicily (as Ferdinand III) from 6 October 1759 until 12 December 1816, and as the first King of the Two Sicilies (as Ferdinand I) from 12 December 1816 until his death on 4 January 1825, having ruled for a total of 65 years, 90 days.  (He also reigned as King of Naples as Ferdinand IV from 6 October 1759 until 23 January 1799, again from 13 June 1799 until 30 March 1806, and finally from 22 May 1815 until 12 December 1816.  He was also King of Gozo as Ferdinand III from 28 October 1798 until 15 June 1802.)

Pharnavaz I

The exact dates of his birth, death, and reign are uncertain; what IS certain is that he died at the age of 92, and ruled as King of Iberia for 65 years.

Sagramji I Kumbhoji

He became the first Thakur of Gondal in 1648 at the age of 14, and reigned until his death in 1713, after a reign of 65 years.

Nandivarman II

He became Pallava Ruler in about 731 AD at the age of 12, and reigned until his death in 796, after a reign of about 65 years.

William III

My direct ancestor, he became Count of Toulouse in either 972 or 978 at the age of either 2 or 8, and reigned until his death in September 1937, after a reign of either 59 or 65 years.

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John I the Red

He became Duke of Brittany on 21 October 1221, and reigned until his death on 8 October 1286, having ruled for 64 years, 352 days.

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Friedrich Wilhelm

Born on 20 September 1663, he became Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen on 13 January 1671 at the age of 6, and reigned until his death on 14 November 1735 at the age of 72, having ruled for 64 years, 305 days.

Khuman III

He became sovereign of Udaipur in 878 and reigned until 942, ruling for 64 years.

Amoghavarsha I

He became Rashtrakuta Emperor about 814 at the age of 14, and reigned until his death about 878 at the age of 78, ruling for 64 years.

Friedrich IV

He became Count of Castell in 1284 and reigned until 1349, for 64 years.

Zhuang I

He became Duke of Qi in 794 BC, reigning until his death in 731 – after a reign of 64 years.

Henry VI

He reigned as Count of Henneberg-Aschach from 1292 until either 1355 or 1356, a reign of 63 or 64 years.

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Ibrahim

Born on 17 September 1873, he became Sultan of Johor on 7 September 1895 at the age of 21, and reigned until his death on 8 May 1959 at the age of 85, having ruled for 63 years, 338 days.

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Sayajirao Gaekwad III

Born on 11 March 1863, he became Maharaja of Baroda on 10 April 1875 at the age of 12, and reigned until his death on 6 February 1939 at the age of 75, having ruled for 63 years, 256 days.

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Anthony Günther

Born on 10 November 1583, he became Count of Oldenburg on 12 November 1603 at the age of 20, and reigned until his death on 19 June 1667 at the age of 83, having ruled for 63 years, 219 days.  (He also reigned as Count of Delmenhorst from 1647 until his death.)

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Victoria

Born on 24 May 1819, she became Queen of the United Kingdom on 20 June 1837 at the age of 18, and reigned until her death on 22 January 1901 at the age of 81, having ruled for 63 years, 216 days.  (She also reigned as Queen of Canada from 1 July 1867 until her death, as Empress of India from 1 May 1876 until her death, and as Queen of Australia from 1 January 1901 until her death.)

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Frederick Augustus III and I

Born on 23 December 1750, he became Elector of Saxony (as Frederick Augustus III) on 17 December 1763 at the age of 12, and ruled over the Electorate until 20 December 1806 when, at the age of 56, he became the first King of Saxony (as Frederick Augustus I), ruling until his death on 5 May 1827 at the age of 76, having ruled for a total of 63 years, 139 days.

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Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa

Born in 1848, he became Hakim of Bahrain on 1 December 1869 at the age of 20 or 21.  He was forced by the British to abdicate on 26 May 1923 at the age of 74 or 75, but this “abdication” was not recognised by the Bahrainians, who recognised him as Hakim – and his “successor” Hamad as merely regent – until his death on 9 December 1932 at the age of 83 or 84, having ruled for 63 years, 8 days.

Mahmud III

He reigned as Emperor of the Mali Empire from 1496 until 1559, for 63 years.

Friedrich II

He became Rhinegrave of Sam-Neuweiler in 1610 and reigned until 1673 – 63 years.

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Charles III

Born on 18 February 1543, he became Duke of Lorraine on 12 June 1545 at the age of 2, and reigned until his death on 14 May 1608 at the age of 65, having ruled for 62 years, 337 days.

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James I the Conqueror

Born on 2 February 1208, he became King of AragonCount of Barcelona and Lord of Montpellier on 12 September 1213 at the age of 5, and reigned until his death on 27 July 1276 at the age of 68, having ruled for 62 years, 319 days.  (He also reigned as King of Majorca from 1231 until his death, and as King of Valencia from 1238 until his death.)

Johann Friedrich II

He reigned over Hohenlohe-Neuenstein-Öhringen from 17 October 1702 until 24 August 1765, for 62 years, 311 days.

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Bernhard II

Born on 17 December 1800, he became Duke of Saxe-Meiningen on 24 December 1803 at the age of 3, and reigned until 20 September 1866 at the age of 65, having ruled for 62 years, 270 days.  He would live for another decade and a half, dying on 3 December 1882 at the age of 81.

Philip II

Born on 14 March 1418, he became Count of Nassau-Weilburg on 2 July 1429 at the age of 11, and reigned until his death on 19 March 1492 at the age of 74, having ruled for 62 years, 261 days.

Nicholas Leopold I

He reigned as Prince of Salm-Hoogstraten from 6 June 1707 until 4 February 1770, for 62 years, 243 days.

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Léopold Philippe

Born on 14 October 1690, he became Duke of Arenberg and Duke of Aarschot on 19 August 1691 – before his first birthday – and reigned until his death on 4 March 1754, having ruled for 62 years, 197 days.

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Ibrahim Ali Khan

Born on 8 November 1849, he became Nawab of Tonk on 20 December 1867 at the age of 18 after the deposition of his father, and reigned until his death on 23 June 1930 at the age of 80, having ruled for 62 years, 185 days.

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Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi

Born between 1918 and 1920, he became Sheikh of Ras Al Khaimah on 17 July 1948, and reigned until his death on 27 October 2010, having ruled for 62 years, 102 days.

Nahar Singh

Born on 7 November 1855, he became Raja Dhiraj of Shahpura on 21 April 1870 at the age of 14, reigning until his death on 24 June 1932 at the age of 76, having ruled for 62 years, 64 days.

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Hirohito/Shōwa

Born on 29 April 1901, he became Emperor of Japan on 25 December 1926 at the age of 25, and reigned until his death on 7 January 1989 at the age of 87, having reigned for 62 years, 12 days.

Philipp Ernst

He became Margrave of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst in 1697 and reigned until 1759 – 62 years.

Charles

He became Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn-Altenkirchen in 1741 and reigned until 1803 – 62 years.

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Xuanye

Born on 4 May 1654, he became Emperor of China on 5 February 1661 at the age of 6, and reigned until his death on 20 December 1722 at the age of 68, having ruled for 61 years, 318 days.

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Abdul Hamid Halim

Born on 4 June 1864, he became Sultan of Kedah on 22 September 1881 at the age of 16, and reigned until his death on 13 May 1943 at the age of 78, having ruled for 61 years, 233 days.

Philipp IV

Born in 1493, he became Count of Waldeck on 28 May 1513 at the age of 19 or 20, and reigned until his death on 30 November 1574 at the age of 80 or 81, having ruled for 61 years, 186 days.

Wakhat Singh Dalil Singh

Born in 1860, he became Rana of Lunavada on 31 October 1867 at the age of 6 or 7, and reigned until his death on 27 April 1929 at the age of 68 or 69, having ruled for 61 years, 178 days.

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Paku Alam VIII

Born on 10 April 1910, he became ruler of Pakualaman on 12 April 1937 at the age of 27, and reigned until his death on 11 September 1998 at the age of 88, having ruled for 61 years, 152 days.

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Victor Amadeus

Born on 6 October 1634, he became Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg on 22 September 1656 at the age of 21, and reigned until his death on 14 February 1718 at the age of 83, having ruled for 61 years, 145 days.

Lakshman Singh

Born in 1835, he became Rai Rayan of Banswara on 2 February 1844 at the age of 8 or 9, and reigned until his death on 29 April 1905 at the age of 69 or 79, having ruled for 61 years, 86 days.

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Ulrich V

Born in 1413, he became Count of Württemberg on 2 July 1419 at the age of 5 or 6, and Count of Württemberg-Stuttgart in 1442 at the age of 28 or 29.  Upon his death on 1 September 1480 at the age of 66 or 67, he had reigned for 61 years, 61 days.

Ranbir Singh

Born on 11 October 1879, he became Maharaja of Jind on 7 March 1887 at the age of 7, and reigned until his death on 31 March 1948 at the age of 68, having ruled for 61 years, 24 days.

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Ernest Louis

Born on 15 December 1667, he became Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt on 31 August 1678 at the age of 11, and reigned until his death on 12 September 1739 at the age of 71, having ruled for 61 years, 12 days.

Johann Friedrich I

He became the ruler of Hohenlohe-Neuenstein-Öhringen on 11 October 1641 and reigned until 17 October 1702, for 61 years, 6 days.

Franz Wilhelm

He became Prince of Salm-Reifferscheid-Krautheim in 1673 and reigned until 1734 – 61 years.

Bhavsinhji I Ratanji

He became ruler of Bhavnagar in 1793 and reigned until 1764 – 61 years.

Otto I

Yet another citizen of the Holy Roman Empire, he reigned as Count of Solms-Braunfels from 1349 until his death in either 1409 or 1410, 60 or 61 years.

William Maurice II

He became Count of Isenburg-Philippseich on 8 March 1711 and reigned until 7 March 1772, for 60 years, 365 days.

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Christian Ernest

Born on 2 April 1691, he became Count of Wernigerode on 9 November 1710 at the age of 19, and reigned until his death on 25 October 1771 at the age of 80, having ruled for 60 years, 350 days.

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Adolf III

Born in 1160, he became Count of Schauenburg and Holstein on 6 July 1164 at the age of 3 or 4, and reigned until his death on 3 January 1225 at the age of 64 or 65, having ruled for 60 years, 181 days.

Leopold Louis

Born on 1 February 1625, he became Count Palatine of Veldenz on 3 June 1634 at the age of 9, and reigned until his death on 29 September 1694 at the age of 69, having ruled for 60 years, 118 days.

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Hongli

Born on 25 September 1711, he became Emperor of China on 18 October 1735 at the age of 24, and reigned until his abdication on 9 February 1796 at the age of 84, having ruled for 60 years, 114 days.  (He retained much de facto power until his death on 7 February 1799 at the age of 87.)

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Friedrich Günther

Born on 6 November 1793, he became Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt on 28 April 1807 at the age of 12, and reigned until his death on 28 June 1867 at the age of 73, having ruled for 60 years, 61 days.

Kaika

Born in 208 BC, he became Emperor of Japan in 158 BC at the age of 50, and reigned until his death in 98 BC at the age of 110, after a reign of 60 years.

Mutasiva

He reigned as King of Anuradhapura from 367 BC until 307 – 60 years.

Adesida

He reigned as the 41st Deji of Akure from June 1897 until 1957 – 60 years.

Sophie

She became Countess of Bar in 1033 and reigned until her death in 1093, after a reign of 60 years.

Frederick I

He became the first Count of Salm-Blankenburg, a state within the Holy Roman Empire, in 1210 and reigned until 1270 – 60 years.

Henry II

He reigned as Count of Salm-Blankenburg from 1301 until 1361 – a total of 60 years.

Ludwig

He reigned as Count of Salm-Blankenburg from 1443 until 1503 – 60 years.

Mayadunne

He became King of Sitawaka in 1521 at the age of 20, and reigned until his death in 1581 at the age of 80, after a reign of 60 years.

Vangoji II Jagpalrao Nimbalkar

He ruled the Indian state of Phaltan from 1570 until 1630 – 60 years.

Æscwine

He reigned as the first King of Essex in the 6th century – possibly from 527 to 587 – and is believed to have reigned for about 60 years.

Pawl

He reigned as King of Glywysing from about 480 to 540, about 60 years.

John James I

He reigned as Steward of Waldburg-Zeil from 4 May 1614 until 1628, and as Count of Waldburg-Zeil from 1628 until 18 April 1674, having ruled for a total of 59 years, 349 days.

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Christian IV

Born on 12 April 1577, he became King of Denmark, King of Norway and Duke of Holstein and Schleswig on 4 April 1588 at the age of 10, and reigned until his death on 28 February 1648 at the age of 70, having ruled for 59 years, 330 days.

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Gustav Adolf

Born on 26 February 1633, he became Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow on 23 April 1636 at the age of 3, and reigned until his death on 6 October 1695 at the age of 62, having ruled for 59 years, 166 days.

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George Frederick I

Born on 5 April 1539, he became Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach on 27 December 1543 at the age of 4, and reigned until his death on 25 April 1603 at the age of 64, having ruled for 59 years, 119 days.

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Charles I

Born on 3 August 1654, he became Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel on 1 December 1670 at the age of 16, and reigned until his death on 23 March 1730, having ruled for 59 years, 112 days.

Full-length portrait in oils of a clean-shaven young George in eighteenth century dress: gold jacket and breeches, ermine cloak, powdered wig, white stockings, and buckled shoes.

George III

Born on 4 June 1738, he reigned as the last King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until 1 January 1801, and as the first King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 January 1801 until his death on 29 January 1820 at the age of 81, having ruled for 59 years, 96 days.  (He also reigned as Elector of Hanover from 25 October 1760 until 9 July 1807, and as King of Hanover from 12 October 1814 until his death.)

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Honoré III

Born on 10 November 1720, he became Prince of Monaco and Duke of Valentinois on 29 December 1731 at the age of 11, and reigned until 19 January 1793, having ruled for 59 years, 73 days.  He would subsequently die on 21 March 1795 at the age of 74.

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Abdul Halim

Born on 28 November 1927, he became Sultan of Kedah on 14 July 1958 at the age of 30, and reigned until his death on 11 September 2017 at the age of 89, having ruled for 59 years, 59 days.

Pakubuwono XII

Born on 11 June 1925, he became Susuhunan of Surakarta on 11 June 1945 at the age of 20, and reigned until his death on 11 June 2004 at the age of 79, having ruled for 59 years, 0 days.

Seimu

He became Emperor of Japan in 131 AD at the age of 47, and reigned until his death in 190 at the age of 107, after a reign of 59 years.

He reigned as Wildgrave and Rhinegrave of Salm-Kyrburg from October 1548 until 7 June 1607 – 58 years, over 244 days.

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Pedro II

Born on 2 December 1825, he became the last Emperor of Brazil on 7 April 1831 at the age of 5, and reigned until the abolition of the monarchy on 15 November 1889 at the age of 63, having ruled for 58 years, 222 days.  He would subsequently die on 5 December 1891 at the age of 66.

Ludovico I

He reigned as Marquess of Saluzzo from 1 October 1416 until his death on 8 April 1475, having ruled for 58 years, 189 days.

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Nicholas I

Born on 7 October 1841, he reigned as the last Prince of Montenegro from 13 August 1860 until 28 August 1910, and as the first and only King of Montenegro from 28 August 1910 until his deposition on 26 November 1918 at the age of 77, having ruled for 58 years, 105 days.  He would subsequently die on 1 March 1921 at the age of 79.

Honoré I

Born on 16 December 1522, he became Lord of Monaco on 22 August 1523 while still an infant, and reigned until his death on 7 October 1581 at the age of 58, having ruled for 58 years, 46 days.

Ponhea Yat/Barom Reachea II

He became the last King of the Khmer Empire in 1405 at the age of 9, reigning until 1431.  He subsequently reigned as King of Cambodia from 1431 until 1463, a total reign of 58 years.

Nan

He reigned as King of China from 314 BC until his death in 256 – a rule of 58 years.

Heinrich II

He reigned as Margrave of Baden-Hachberg from 1231 until 1289, a rule of 58 years.

Mulraj II

He reigned as Maharawal of Jaisalmer from 1762 until his death in 1820 – 58 years.

Muhammad Shafi ud-din II

He reigned as Sultan of Sambas from 1866 until 1924 – 58 years.

Poppo IX

He became Count of Henneberg-Aschach in 1292 at the age of about 12, and reigned until about 1350 at the age of about 70, having reigned for about 58 years.

Harald I Fairhair

The first King of Norway, he ascended the throne in 872 at the age of about 22, and reigned until 930 at the age of about 80, having ruled for about 58 years.

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Philip

Born on 14 December 1655, he became the first Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal on 16 July 1663 at the age of 7, and reigned until his death on 18 June 1721 at the age of 65, having ruled for 57 years, 337 days.

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Wilhelmina

Born on 31 August 1880, she became Queen of the Netherlands on 23 November 1890 at the age of 10, and reigned until her abdication on 4 September 1948 at the age of 68, having ruled for 57 years, 286 days.  She would subsequently die on 28 November 1962 at the age of 82.

Philipp I

Born in 1368, he became Count of Nassau-Weilburg and Count of Saarbrücken on 20 September 1371 at the age of 2 or 3, and reigned until his death on 2 July 1429 at the age of 60 or 61, having ruled for 57 years, 285 days.

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Philip I the Magnanimous

Born on 13 November 1504, he became Landgrave of Hesse on 11 July 1509 at the age of 4, and reigned until his death on 31 March 1567 at the age of 62, having ruled for 57 years, 263 days.

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James VI

Born on 19 June 1566, he became King of Scotland on 24 July 1567 at the age of 1, and reigned until his death on 27 March 1625 at the age of 58, having ruled for 57 years, 246 days.  He would famously commision the King James Version of the Bible, and would reign as King of England and King of Ireland (as James I) from 24 March 1603 until his death.

Albrecht I

He reigned over Hohenlohe-Weikersheim from 16 November 1371 until 15 June 1429, having ruled for 57 years, 211 days.

Maredydd ap Rhain

He reigned as King of Dyfed – now part of Wales – from 740 AD until 797, a total of 57 years.

Jing

He reigned as Duke of Qi from 547 BC until his death in 490, after a reign of 57 years.

Mithridates VI the Great

One of Rome’s more formidable enemies, he became King of Pontus in 120 BC at the age of 15, and reigned until his death in 63 BC at the age of 71 or 72, after a reign of 57 years.

Vseslav Bryachislavich the Sorcerer

A distant cousin of mine (specifically second cousin to one or two of my ancestors), and reputed to have engaged in sorcery and been a werewolf, he became Prince of Polotsk in 1044 at the age of about 5, and reigned until his death on 24 April 1101 at the age of about 62, having reigned for 57 years.

Bernard I

He reigned as Count of Bentheim-Bentheim from 1364 until 1421 – 57 years.

Yi Hham Hka

He ruled Kengtung from 1403 until 1460 – 57 years.

John

He reigned as Count of Waldburg-Waldsee from 1667 until 1724, for 57 years.

Adolph Louis William

He reigned as the second and last Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Karlsburg from 1749 until 1806, for 57 years.

17 thoughts on “History’s Longest-Reigning Monarchs

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