Records of heads of state

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Heads of state throughout the world and at all periods of history may be ranked according to characteristics such as length of time holding that position; age of accession or death; or physical attributes. In this way world records in these characteristics may be identified, although the historical basis for such claims is frequently uncertain.



Male monarch[edit]

Longest-reigning male monarch[edit]
Alabaster statue of Pepi II Neferkare (right)

The longest-reigning male monarch ever known is disputed between the following candidates:

The longest undisputed reigning male monarch known is Sobhuza II, who ruled the Kingdom of Swaziland as a absolute monarch under the title of Paramount Chief of Swaziland and later King of Swaziland. He ruled for 82 years, 8 months, 11 days.

Longest current reigning male monarch[edit]

The longest current reigning male monarch is Hassanal Bolkiah, who is currently the Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei ("(he) who is Lord"), a absolute monarch of the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace.

The longest current reigning constitutional male monarch is Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who is currently the King of Sweden of the Kingdom of Sweden.

Female monarch[edit]

Longest-reigning female monarch[edit]

The longest reigning female monarch ever known was Eleanor of Aquitaine, who ruled the Duchy of Aquitaine as a feudal absolute monarch under the title of Duchess of Aquitaine. She ruled for 66 years, 11 months, and 23 days.

The longest reigning female constitutional monarch ever is Elizabeth II, who is currently the Queen of the United Kingdom and other commonwealth realms, of the United Kingdom and other commonwealth realms.

Longest current reigning female monarch[edit]

The longest current reigning female monarch is Elizabeth II, who is currently the Queen of the United Kingdom and other commonwealth realms, a constitutional monarch of the United Kingdom and other commonwealth realms.


Longest-serving male non-royal head of state[edit]

The longest serving non-royal male head of state ever was Fidel Castro, who held the titles of Prime Minister of Cuba, First Secretary of the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the United Party for the Socialist Revolution of Cuba, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, President of the Council of State, and President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba. He served for 52 years, 2 months, and 3 days.


Male president[edit]
Longest-serving and longest current serving male president[edit]

The longest-serving and longest current serving male president ever is Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who is currently the President of Equatorial Guinea of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Female president[edit]
Longest-serving female non-royal head of state and longest serving female[edit]

The longest serving female non-royal head of state and longest serving female president ever was Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who was the President of Iceland of the Republic of Iceland. She served for 16 years.

Longest current serving president[edit]

The longest current serving female president is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is currently the President of Liberia of the Republic of Liberia.

Shortest Serving[edit]

The shortest serving monarch of all time is believed to be Louis XIX of France . After his fathers abdication during the July Revolution on August 2, 1830, he ascended to the throne, but abdicated around 20 minutes later. This reign is disputed, as some historians believe this reign is too short to be valid. The next contender is the unnamed daughter of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei who was appointed by her grandmother, Empress Dowager Hu. She reigned for a matter of hours until being replaced by Yuan Zhou.

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 BC. However, the earliest documentary evidence is only for the 29th emperor, Kinmei (AD 509–571).

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is well-documented as being descended from Arnulf of Metz (c. AD 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, used by Count Heinrich LXXV Reuss (r. 1800–1801). All male members of the branch were named Heinrich, and were successively numbered from 1 upwards, from the beginning of each century.[1]

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 607.5 kg (1,339 lb), though he subsequently lost around 40% of his weight.[2]


Sancho VII of Navarre was the tallest head of state. He was the King of Kingdom of Navarre. His remains were measured to indicate a height of at least 7 ft 3 in (221 cm).


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



According to legends, the youngest ruler is Shapur II who was crowned in utero when a crown was placed on the belly of Hormizd II 's wife after Hormizd II died. However, according to Shapur Shahbazi, it is unlikely. Other claims as the youngest ruler include John I of France and Alfonso XIII of Spain who were both crowned on the day of their birth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Russell, Alan; McWhirter, Norris D., eds. (1 October 1987). The Guinness Book of Records 1988. Fleet St., London: Guinness Superlatives ltd. p. 190. ISBN 0851128688. 
  2. ^ McWhirter, Norris (1996). Guinness Book of Records. Guinness Publishing. pp. 181–2. ISBN 0-85112-646-4.