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The top ten longest-reigning British monarchs


On 9 September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II, having previously surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, in 2007, to become the longest-lived British monarch, became the longest-reigning British monarch. She can also lay claim to being the world’s oldest reigning monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant in history.

Here we take a look at the ten longest reigning monarchs in Britain (for which there is reliable evidence).

1. Queen Elizabeth II (6 February 1952 – 8 September 2022)

Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms

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)
House: Windsor
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)
Length of reign: 70 years and 214 days

2. Queen Victoria (20 June 1837 - 22 January 1901) 

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India

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
House: Hanover
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
Length of reign: 63 years, 216 days

3. George III (25 October 1760 – 29 January 1820)

King of Great Britain and Ireland Elector

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
House: Hanover
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
Length of reign: 59 years, 96 days

4. James VI of Scotland and James I of England and Ireland (24 July 1567 – 27 March 1625) 

King of Scots; King of England and Ireland

Born: 19 June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle
Parents: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnely and Mary, Queen of Scots
House: House of Stuart
Predecessor: Mary, Queen of Scots (Scotland), Elizabeth I (England and Ireland)
Ascended to the throne: 24 July 1567, aged 13 months (as King James VI of Scotland) and 24 March 1603 (as King of England and Ireland)
Crowned: 29 July 1567 at Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling (as King James VI) and 25 July 1603 at Westminster (as King James I)
Married: Anne of Denmark
Children: Henry (Prince of Wales), Elizabeth, Margaret, Charles (later Charles I), Robert (Duke of Kintyre), Mary, Sophia
Succeeded by: His son, Charles I
Length of reign: 57 years, 246 days

5. Henry III (18 October 1216 – 16 November 1272)

King of England, Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine

Also known as: Henry of Winchester
Born: 1 October 1207 at Winchester Castle
Parents: King John and Isabella of Angouleme
House: Plantagenet
Predecessor: John, King of England
Ascended to the throne: 18 October 1216, aged 9 years
Crowned: 28 October 1216 at Gloucester and 17 May 17 1220 at Westminster
Married: Eleanor of Provence, Daughter of Raymond Berenger
Children: Edward (later Edward I), Margaret of England (later Queen of Scots), Beatrice of England, Edmund Crouchback (Earl of Lancaster and Leicester), Katherine of England
Succeeded by: His son, Edward I
Length of reign: 56 years, 29 days

6. Edward III (25 January 1327 – 20 June 1377)

King of England and Lord of Ireland

Also known as: Edward of Windsor
Born: 13 November 1312 at Windsor Castle
Parents: Edward II of England and Isabella of France
House: Plantagenet
Predecessor: Edward II
Ascended to the throne: 25 January 1327, aged 14 years
Crowned: 29 January 1327 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Philippa of Hainault
Edward of Woodstock – the ‘Black Prince’ (Duke of Cornwall, Prince of Wales, Prince of Aquitaine), Isabella, Joan of England, Lionel of Antwerp (Duke of Clarence), John (Duke of Lancaster), Edmund (Duke of York), Mary of Waltham, Margaret of England, Thomas of Woodstock (Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Buckingham, Earl of Essex)
Succeeded by:
his grandson, Richard II
Length of reign: 50 years, 147 days

7. William I of Scotland (9 December 1165 – 4 December 1214)

King of the Scots

Also known as: William the Lion
Born: c.1143
Parents: Henry of Scotland and Ada de Warenne
House: House of Dunkeld
Predecessor: Malcolm IV
Ascended to the throne: 9 December 1165
Crowned: 24 December 1165
Married: Ermengarde de Beaumont
Children: Margaret of Scotland, Isabella of Scotland, Alexander (later Alexander II), Marjorie 
Succeeded by: his son, Alexander II
Length of reign: 48 years, 360 days

8= Llywelyn of Gwynedd (1194 or 1195 – 11 April 1240)

Prince of Gwynedd and Prince of Powys Wenwynwyn

Also known as: Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, Llywelyn the Great
Born: c. 1173, Dolwyddelan
Parents: Iorwerth Drwyndwn and Marared ferch Madog
House: House of Gwynedd
Predecessor: Gwenwynwyn ab Owain
Ascended to the throne: 1216
Married: Joan, Lady of Wales
Children: Dafydd ap Llywelyn, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, Elen ferch Llywelyn, Gwladus Ddu, Marared ferch Llywelyn, Gwenllian ferch Llywelyn, Angharad ferch Llywelyn, Susanna ferch Llywelyn
Succeeded by: His son, Dafydd ap Llywelyn (Gwynedd) and Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn (Powys Wenwynwyn)
Length of reign: 44-46 years

8= Elizabeth I (17 November 1558 – 24 March 1603)

Queen of England and Ireland

Also known as: The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess
Born: 7 September 1533 at Greenwich Palace
Parents: Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
House: Tudor
Predecessor: Mary I and Philip
Ascended to the throne: 17 November 1558, aged 25 years
Crowned: 15 January 1559 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Never married
Children: None
Succeeded by: her third cousin, James VI of Scotland
Length of reign: 44 years, 127 days

10. King David II of Scotland (7 June 1329 - 22 February 1371)

King of Scots

Born: 5 March 1324 at Dunfermline Palace, Fife
Parents: Robert I of Scotland and Elizabeth de Burgh
House of: House of Bruce
Predecessor: Robert I of Scotland
Ascended to the throne: 7 June 1329, aged 5 years
Crowned: 24 November 1331 at Scone
Married: Joan of England (married 17 July 1328; widowed 14 August 1362); Margaret Drummond (married 20 February 1364; divorced 20 March 1369) 
Children: None
Succeeded by: his distant nephew, Robert II
Length of reign: 41 years, 260 days


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