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10 Longest-Reigning Monarchs Ever in the World

Great leaders and rulers make the world a better place. They inspire social integration, economic development and growth, and political stability. Can you imagine a nation without the head of state? Chaos comes to mind. The quest to gain leadership is the most challenging part of the journey in the right direction in a democratic political system. Kingdoms are the most organized political dynasties in the world because the administration is inherited within the royal families. In countries with a monarchy, power is handed down within a royal family, and the citizens know in advance who the next leader is. The period of reign is depended on the lifespan of the leader or monarch. For instance, Pharaoh Pepi II Neferkare was claimed to have reigned over Egypt for the most extended period ever (94 years) though there is no verification for this claim. Some monarchs have reigned for the most extended times. Below are 10 of the longest-reigning monarchs ever in the world with verifiable historical facts.

Sobhuza II of Swaziland: Dec 10th, 1899–Aug 21st, 1982 (82 years, 254 days)

Sobhuza II of Swaziland

SoBhuza II was born Nkhotfotjeni on July 22nd, 1899 and became king four months later when his father died. He was the longest-reigning monarch with the verifiable reign of any ruler to date. He reigned over Swaziland for 82 years and 254 days after ascending to power after four months of living in this world. Because of his age, his grandmother acted as his regent until Sobhuza was old enough for his coronation to take the mantle of power himself. For many years, the country was under British colonial control, meaning most of his skills were just ceremonial. He served as the paramount chief of Swaziland under the imperialist powers, and he had significant influence; for instance, he attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, thanks to his influential power.

The legacy of his lengthy reign is associated with peace and abhorred violence. For instance, he negotiated for Swaziland’s independence from the British in 1968 without bloodshed and worked to unify African leaders. Under his reign, Swaziland joined the United Nations, Organization of African Unity. At independence, he formed a political party that won the election. However, Sobhuza dissolved democracy, tore the constitution and dissolved the parliament in 1973 and declared himself as the absolute ruler. Under his leadership, the country/kingdom prospered gaining control over resources from non-Swaziland organizations by bringing them under indigenous control. He had over 70 wives, 210 children and as of August 21st, 1982, he had more than 1000 grandchildren.[1]

Bernhard VII of Lippe: Aug 11th, 1429–April 2nd, 1511 (81 years, 234 days).

Bernhard VII of Lippe

He was born in 1429 as the first son of Lord Simon of Lippe and his wife Margaret of Brunswick-Grubenhagen. Compared to the rest of the candidates on this list, Bernhard VII was all things except peaceful. He ascended to the throne as an infant in 1429 before his first birthday. He was under the guardianship and regency of his uncle Otto who died in 1446 and his great uncle who was archbishop was appointed as the regent. When he assumed power, he was involved in an uncountable number of feuds during his reign and life that he is famously known as Bernhard the Bellicose. With many of the disputes entailing either supporting his brothers or in opposition to his brothers. Despite his reckless lifestyle and scrappy personality; he somehow managed to stay alive and rule Lippe for an accumulated period of 81 years and 234 days![2]

William IV of Henneberg-Schleusingen: May 26th, 1480–Jan 24th, 1559 (78 years, 243 days).

William IV of Henneberg-Schleusingen

The princely count William IV of Henneberg-Schleusingen, a member of the house of Henneberg, was the head of the principality of Henneberg instituted within the Holy Roman Empire. He was the son of William III, and he ruled over Henneberg-Schleusingen for 78 years and 243 days. He ascended to power at the age of five years, from May 26th, 1480. One of his contributions in society was embracing the reformation of protestants during his reign. The realm of the reign was brought down and divided between four branches of the European royalty of the land.[3]

Heinrich XI of Reuss-Obergreiz: March 17th, 1723–June 28th, 1800 (77 years, 103 days)

Heinrich XI of Reuss-Obergreiz

Heinrich XI born in Greiz Reus and the last son of count Heinrich II Reuss of Obergreiz reigning between 1696 to 1722 and countess Charlotte from Bothmer. Heinrich XI ascended to the throne as the Count if Reuss-Obergreiz in 1723 at the age of one-year-old succeeding his brother following his death. He was promoted to the title of Prince in 1778 by Joseph II, the holy roman emperor, the position he held till his death on June 28th of 1800. He was able to collect possession and ensured succession for his line was in in the domain of 1768. Saint Stephen of Hungary also gave him an Order which he received. He was popularly known as His Serene Highness Count Heinrich XI Reuss of Obergreiz served as the monarch for an accumulated reign of 77 years, 103 days.[4]

Christian August of Palatinate-Sulzbach: Aug 14th, 1632–April 23rd, 1706 (75 years, 253 days)

Christian August of Palatinate-Sulzbach

The monarch Christian August, also known as Christian Augustus, was considered the most tolerant ruler ever since succeeding his father at the age of 10 years. During his reign, he not only granted the people under his rule to choose their faith or Christian denomination but he also introduced Simultaneum; where Christian churches were allowed to organize and offer protestant and Catholic services. During this period, there was a heated fight within Christianity because, the only recognized church was the Global Roman Catholic church, and the protestant movement churches born out of reform movements were underway.

The protestant churches had not attained acceptance in the society; therefore, it will be right to acknowledge that Christian August of Palatinate-Sulzbach contributed to the growth of protestant churches in the world. The Jews race was harried and persecuted were allowed to settle in Sulzbach, Duchy. During his 75 years and 253 days reign, the region became the intellectual paradise and the heart of the printing industry, tolerant of all races and all people to live in harmony.[5]

Muhoji Rao Naik Nimbalkar of Phaltan: Dec 7th, 1841–Oct 17th, 1916 (74 years, 315 days)

Muhoji Rao Naik Nimbalkar was the monarch of Phaltan from December 7th, 1841 and reigned until October 17th, 1916 when he succumbed to his death. He is one of the rulers with valid dates of his reign that very little is known about himself and his reign. He marks as the only longest reigning monarch in India. He was one of the monarchs of Indian states, and he was the second last ruler before the Phaltan state was absorbed into the dominion of Current India. He was reckoned as the most peaceful monarch whose reign lasted for 74 years and 315 days, longest monarch reign in India.[6]

Bhagvat Singh of Gondal: Dec 14th, 1869–March 10th, 1944 (74 years, 87 days)

Bhagvat Singh of Gondal

Bhagvatsingh Sahib is one of the greatest leaders and monarch that was kind, hardworking, and striving to serve his people rather than expecting the people to work for him. Reckoned as the most enlightened, bright, and educated monarch ever with many university degrees encompass a medical degree. When he was four years old, he inherited the throne from his father in December 14th of 1869 and was under the guardianship of a British regent until he was old enough to take the mantle of Gondal state. He is the monarch with the reputation and legacy of building hospitals, colleges, schools, and updating his homeland.

For instance, he provided compulsory education for both men and women from the lowest level to the university and radical infrastructure building across the country. There was vocational training to cater for those cut out of university, developing technical skills such as carpentry, mechanics, traders, painters among others, this worked effectively by increasing his nations revenue because all people were productive contributing towards the nation building. For instance, on his fiftieth year in reign, donated to charity his weight in gold, and he worked for others, protecting the welfare of others till his death. He reigned for a total of 74 years and 87 years.[7]

Georg Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe: Feb 13th, 1787–Nov 21st, 1860 (73 years, 282 days)

Georg Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe

Following his father’s death, Prince Georg Wilhelm became the ruler of Schaumburg-Lippe at the age of three years. The mother, princess Julian, acted as his regent count because of his age. Landgrave William IX invaded and occupied the Schaumburg-Lippe claiming he was the rightful heir to the throne because of princess Julian supposed morganatic ancestry. The imperial court in Vienna intervened and ruled the case in favor of Georg Wilhelm and ordered Landgrave to withdraw, which he did withdraw after two months. The reign of Georg started on February 13th, 1787, when his father died; he was three years old. After the Schaumburg-Lippe joined the Confederation of Rhine, the count position was promoted to a principality, and Georg Wilhelm was elevated to the Prince, the first Schaumburg-Lippe Prince to rule the land. He reigned over Schaumburg-Lippe for a total of 73 years and 282 days.[8]

Karl Friedrich of Baden: May 12th, 1738–June 10th, 1811 (73 years, 29 days)

Karl Friedrich of Baden

Karl Friedrich, also known as Charles Fredrich was born in Karlsruhe in 1728 as the son of the hereditary Prince of Baden and Nassau. He ascended to power at the age of 10 when he succeeded his grandfather as Margrave of Baden Durlach (one of the branches of ancient Margraviate of Baden) in 1738. He was a strict and kind ruler.

He was known for abolishing torture, serfdom, supporting education (in both schools and university or tertiary levels) and promoting the jurisprudence as well as local development during his 73 years and 29 days reign. In 1792 Karl joined forces with Austria to fight against France forcing Baden to lose some territories at the left bank of the Rhine to France. However, he formed an alliance with Russians against Napoleon and captured more territories to expand Baden elevating Margraviate to an Electorate within the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1803 Fredrich became the elector of Baden and the first Grand Duke of Baden in 1806.[9]

John Louis of Nassau-Saarbrucken: Oct 19th, 1472–June 4th, 1545 (72 years, 228 days)

John Louis of Nassau-Saarbrucken

The Nassau Castle was reigned by the house of Nassau noble’s lineage, in one of the European aristocratic dynasties. He was the lord from the house of Nassau Nobles lineage who are members of the Nassau Castle. The Nassau Castle had lords of the count, and the lords were elevated to the royal title of the Prince. John Louis was among the princes of Nassau Saarbrucken county, and he reigned over the area as the monarch for a lifetime, 72 years and 228 days in total reign period. The reign of Louis started from the day he was born on October 19th, 1472, and ended on June 4th, 1545, when he died, and his reign was entirely unremarkable! Well, his father died while his mother was expectant with Louis as the heir; therefore, he automatically qualified as the king at his birth.[10]

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