How does Queen Margrethe’s long reign compare to other monarchs?

Then-Princess Margrethe of Denmark (far left of picture) meets Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen consort Sirikit in 1960. The Queen’s father, King Frederik IX, stands to the left of the Thai royal couple.
Then-Princess Margrethe of Denmark (far left of picture) meets Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen consort Sirikit in 1960. The Queen’s father, King Frederik IX, stands to the left of the Thai royal couple. Photo: Per Pejstrup/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark's Queen Margrethe II celebrates a half century on the throne on Friday, but which monarchs around the world have had longer reigns?

Queen Margrethe II, born on April 16th 1940, became head of Europe’s oldest kingdom on January 14th 1972 following the death of her father, Frederik IX.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s Queen Margrethe celebrates 50th jubilee

Just two reigning monarchs outstrip her longevity:

Elizabeth II, almost 70 years

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during her Christmas Day address to the country in 2021.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II during her Christmas Day address to the country in 2021. Photo: Pool/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne on February 8th 1952 at the age of 25, making her the world’s longest reigning monarch.

Brunei’s Hassanal Bolkiah, 54 years

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2019.

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2019. Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 75, is one of the richest people on the planet. He has reigned over the small enclave on the north coast of Borneo since his father abdicated in October 1967.

Sweden’s Carl XVI Gustaf

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (with Queen Silvia) at Solliden castle in Borgholm, Sweden in July 2021.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (with Queen Silvia) at Solliden castle in Borgholm, Sweden in July 2021. Photo: Suvad Mrkonjic/Tt Newsagency/Ritzau Scanpix

Not far behind is Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, 75, who has reigned for 48 years. He is Queen Margrethe’s first cousin.

Records

The modern record is held by Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, crowned under the name of Rama IX in June 1946. He reigned for 70 years and four months before dying in October 2016.

People pay their respects to a picture of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the 4th year anniversary of his death in 2020.

People pay their respects to a picture of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the 4th year anniversary of his death in 2020. Photo: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The French “Sun King” Louis XIV, who reigned for 72 years between 1643 and 1715, holds the record for the longest reign in recorded history. 


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