List of Portuguese monarchs by age at accession to the throne

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In 1578, after the death of his grandnephew Sebastian, Cardinal Henry of Portugal, aged 66 became the oldest man to become King of Portugal.
In 1557, 3-year-old Prince Sebastian became the youngest King of Portugal ever.

This is a list of Portuguese monarchs' ages at the time they became kings or reigning queens. For Maria II of Portugal, who was queen during two non-consecutive terms, the age at the start of the first term is given. The median age for a monarch to ascend to the throne is 28 years and 296 days.

OO = Order of Office    Y = Years    D = Days    R = Rank
OO Name Y D Date of birth Term began R
17 Cardinal-King Henry 66 185 31 January 1512 4 August 1578 1
19 (18) Philip I (II of Spain) 53 331 21 May 1526 17 April 1581 2
18[1] António, Prior of Crato[2] 48
49
206
205
1531 24 July 1580 3/4
28 (27) John VI[3] 48 312 13 May 1767 20 March 1816 4/3
27 (26) Maria I 42 97 17 December 1734 24 March 1777 5
11 Edward 41 287 31 October 1391 14 August 1433 6
5 Afonso III[4] 38 183 5 May 1210 4 November 1248 7
8 Peter I 37 30 8 April 1320 8 May 1357 8
22 (21) John IV 36 257 19 March 1604 1 December 1640 9
26 (25) Joseph I 36 55 6 June 1714 31 July 1750 10
24 (23) Peter II[5] 35 139 26 April 1648 12 September 1683 11
7 Afonso IV 34 365 8 February 1290 7 February 1325 12
2 Sancho I 31 25 11 November 1154 6 December 1186 13
1 Afonso I Henriques[6] 30 0 25 July 1109 25 July 1139 14
10 John I 27 360 11 April 1357 6 April 1385 15
29 (28) Pedro IV
(I of Brazil)
27 149 12 October 1798 10 March 1826 16
3 Afonso II 26 338 23 April 1185 26 March 1212 17
13 John II[7] 26 118 3 May 1455 29 August 1481 18
25 (24) John V 26 48 22 October 1680 9 December 1706 19
34 (33) Carlos I 26 21 28 September 1863 19 October 1889 20
14 Manuel I 25 359 31 May 1469 25 May 1495 21
31 (30) Miguel[8] 25 259 26 October 1802 11 July 1828 22
33 (32) Luís I 23 11 31 October 1838 11 November 1861 23
9 Ferdinand I 21 79 31 October 1345 18 January 1367 24
20 (19) Philip II
(III of Spain)
20 152 14 April 1578 13 September 1598 25
15 John III 19 189 7 June 1502 13 December 1521 26
35 (34) Manuel II 18 78 15 November 1889 1 February 1908 27
6 Denis 17 130 9 October 1261 16 February 1279 28
32 (31) Pedro V 16 60 16 September 1837 15 November 1853 29
21 (20) Philip III
(IV of Spain)
15 357 8 April 1605 31 March 1621 30
4 Sancho II 15 260 8 July 1207 25 March 1223 31
23 (22) Afonso VI 13 77 21 August 1643 6 November 1656 32
30 (29) Maria II[9] 7 28 4 April 1819 2 May 1826 33
12 Afonso V 6 237 15 January 1432 9 September 1438 34
16 Sebastian 3 142 20 January 1554 11 June 1557 35

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ António, Prior of Crato is considered by some historians to be the 18th monarch. From 1580, all other monarchs have the alternative numbering between parenthesis.
  2. ^ António's precise date of birth is unknown. The dates presented reflect the possible ages between 1 January 1531 and 31 December 1531.
  3. ^ John VI assumed the regency on 10 February 1792, aged 24y 273d, after his mother Queen Maria I became mad. He was effectively the 22nd oldest person to run the country.
  4. ^ Afonso III exiled his brother Sancho II to Castile, and assumed the regency on 24 July 1245, aged 35y 80d. He was effectively the 11th oldest person to run the country.
  5. ^ Peter II de facto removed his brother Afonso VI of the throne, assuming the regency for the rest of his brother's reign. He was 19y 212d, and was effectively the 25th oldest person to run the country.
  6. ^ The date of his accession in the table is Afonso's declaration of independence after the Battle of Ourique in 1139, and his consequent acclamation. However, Afonso Henriques was the de jure ruler of what is today Portugal when his father Henry, Count of Portugal died on 24 April 1112, when he was only 2y 274d, making him the youngest ruler of the Portuguese territory. His mother declared herself Queen of Portugal and ruled the county until the Battle of São Mamede on 24 July 1128, when Afonso was 18y 365d. If 1128 is accounted for the date of his accession, Afonso Henriques would be the 26th oldest monarch. If 1143, with the Treaty of Zamora, is considered the date of Afonso's accession to the throne he would be the 11th oldest monarch.
  7. ^ John's father Afonso V abdicated briefly on 11 November 1477, and John consequently became king aged 22y 192d. Afonso would later return to the throne 4 days later. If 1477 is accounted as the date of John's accession, then he would be the 22nd oldest monarch.
  8. ^ After his brother Pedro IV's abdication, and the appointment of his niece Maria II to the throne, Miguel assumed the regency on 2 May 1826. He was 23y 188d, and was effectively the 23rd oldest monarch. He would later proclaim himself king 2 years later.
  9. ^ Maria II succeeded her father Pedro IV of Portugal, who was also Emperor of the recently independent Brazil, after his abdication on 2 May 1826. However, she never set foot in mainland Portugal, and her uncle Miguel usurped the throne and triggered a civil war. With the end of the war, Maria was again acclaimed queen on 26 May 1834, aged 15y 52d. She would be the 31st oldest monarch.

See also[edit]