Special Report

The 20 Longest-Reigning Monarchs in World History

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3. Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
> Country: Thailand
> Time on the throne: 70 years, 126 days
> Start of reign: June 9, 1946
> End of reign: Oct. 13, 2016

Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is remembered as a leader who, during his 70 years on the throne, led his country in a humane approach, raising its profile on an international level. Locals often referred to him as the Father for his kindness. He often served as a mediator during times of political dispute.

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2. Elizabeth II
> Country: United Kingdom and 14 others
> Time on the throne: 70 years, 214 days
> Start of reign: Feb. 6, 1952
> End of reign: Sept. 8, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Born in 1926, she took the throne in 1952, at the age of 25. During her reign, the United Kingdom underwent drastic changes, including the decline of the British Empire (the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 effectively marked the end of the empire), “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, and the nation first entering and then leaving the European Union.

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1. Louis XIV
> Country: France
> Time on the throne: 72 years, 110 days
> Start of reign: May 14, 1643
> End of reign: Sept. 1, 1715

The longest-reigning monarch in history is France’s King Louis XIV, known as the Sun King. He ruled the country during one of its most prosperous periods. He inherited the throne from his father, King Louis XIII, at age 4. Louis XIV is most famous for extending France’s borders, building the Palace of Versailles, and laying the foundations for an absolute monarchy.


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