Records of heads of state

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The longest-reigning monarch of all-time is a matter of some debate. Candidates include Pepi II Neferkare, pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, believed to have ruled for around 94 years between 2278 BCE and 2184 BCE, however some sources put the length of his reign at only 64 years. Minhti, king of Arakan (now in Burma) is reputed to have reigned for 95 years from 1279 to 1374, but little documentary evidence exists for this claim. Similarly, Taejo of Goguryeo (now in Korea) is listed as reigning for 93 years between 53 and 146 eventually dying at the age of 119 in 165.

The longest undisputed reign is that of Sobhuza II of Swaziland who ascended to the throne on 10 December 1899 at the age of four months and ruled until his death on 21 August 1982, after a reign of 82 years and 254 days.


The longest-serving current monarch is King Rama IX of Thailand who has been the Thai Sovereign since 9 June 1946 (reigning for over 67 years).


President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (born 29 December 1937) was elected for six consecutive terms as President of Maldives. He served as President for 30 years from 1978 to 2008, until he was defeated in the country's first multi-party election. According to the 2007 Constitution of the Maldives, the Presidency is limited to only two consecutive terms.

President Mary McAleese served as President of Ireland for fourteen years from November 1997 to November 2011, making her the longest-serving democratically-elected female head of state.[1][2]

The longest reigning was Fidel Castro who served as First Secretary/Prime Minister/President of Cuba and ruled from 16 February 1959 to 19 April 2011, a total of 52 years and 62 days.

Ruling houses[edit]


Officially, the current Emperor of Japan, Akihito is the 125th in line from the first emperor Jimmu, who is variously believed to have reigned in the 1st or 7th century BCE. However, the earliest documentary evidence is only for the 29th emperor, Kimmei (509–571 CE).

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is well-documented as being descended from Arnulf of Metz (c. 582–640), forefather of Charlemagne, thus representing a lineage of 47 generations. (See Descent of Elizabeth II from the Franks.)

The Ottoman Empire lasted for 36 sultans in 21 generations, from Osman I to Mehmed VI for 623 years. (See List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire.)

Post-nominal numbers[edit]

The highest post-nominal number representing a member of a royal house is 75 for Count Heinrich LXXV House of Reuss, who was Count from 1800–1801. All male members of the family were named Heinrich, and so the numbers are merely personal as opposed to regnal.

Physical attributes[edit]


The heaviest monarch is believed to have been Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, King of Tonga from 1965 to 2006 who at his peak in 1976 was measured as 209.5 kg (462 lb), though he subsequently lost around 40% of his weight.[3]


Vere Bird was the tallest head of state. He was the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda. His height was at least 6 ft 8 in (203 cm).


President Benito Juárez of Mexico reportedly the shortest world leader, standing at 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m).

See also[edit]