Longest reigning British monarch, but is it time for Queen Elizabeth II's abdication?


Longest reigning british monarch

Source: Composite by G_marius based on a PolizeiBerlin' image

After setting a record for the longest reigning monarch in the history of the UK, many wonder whether it is time for Queen Elizabeth II to abdicate. Vote and explain your stance towards the British Monarchy

Elizabeth II is a much loved Queen. However, not all British people are supportive of the monarchy, and even among monarchists some claim that the Queen should step aside and pass the throne either to her son Charles, Prince of Wales, or to her grandson William, Duke of Cambridge. However, with the current Brexit scenario in process and the renewed pro-independence claims coming from Scotland the Queen may be more necessary than ever for Britain. Should she abdicate or stay on the throne until she dies?

Longest reigning British monarchs

Length is not always an indicator of quality of a reign. However, few would argue that the current English Queen has not demonstrated important leadership skills and capacity to adapt to a fast changing world. Since 2015, Queen Elizabeth II leads in the table of longest ruling British monarchs:

  1. Elizabeth II (United Kingdom), since 6 February 1952
  2. Victoria (United Kingdom) from 20 June 1837 to 22 January 1901 (died aged 81)
  3. George III (United Kingdom) from 25 October 1760 to 29 January 1820 (died aged 81)
  4. James VI, King of Scotland from 24 July 1567 to 27 March 1625, King of England and Ireland from 24 March 1603 to 27 March 1625 (died aged 58)
  5. Henry III (England) from 19 October 1216 to 16 November 1272 (died aged 65)
  6. Edward III (England) from 25 January 1327 to 21 June 1377 (died aged 64)
  7. William I, or William the Lion (Scotland) from 9 December 1165 to 4 December 1214 (died as king aged 71)
  8. Llywelyn the Great (Wales) Prince of Gwynedd from 1195 to 11 April 1240 and Prince of Powys Wenwynwyn 1216 to 11 April 1240 (died aged 67)
  9. Elizabeth I (England and Ireland) from 17 November 1558 to 24 March 1603 (died aged 69)
  10. David II (Scotland) from 7 June 1329 to 22 February 1371 (died aged 46).

All the monarchs in this list died ruling their kingdom. None of them abdicated or were ousted from power. Can this be an indication of Elizabeth II's intentions not to abdicate?

Longest reigning queens and kings in history

Queen Elizabeth may be the longest reigning British monarch but not she is not the longest serving ruler if we take into consideration other countries. In fact, if you include Dukes, Counts and Princes ruling over sovereign territories Queen Elizabeth II would only rank 48th in the world. Here we have shorltlisted the ten longest ruling monarchs of big countries:

  1. Louis XIV, a.k.a. Le Roi-Soleil, King of France from 14 May 1643 to 1 September 1715 (died aged 76)
  2. Bhumibol Adulyadej, a.k.a. Rama IX, King of Thailand since 9 June 1946
  3. Frederick III the Peaceful, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany and Prince of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola. He ruled from 2 February 1440  to 19 August 1493 (died aged 77)
  4. Franz Joseph I was Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia from 2 December 1848 to 21 November 1916 (died aged 86)
  5. Constantine VII was Byzantine Emperor from 962 to 11 November 1028 (although until 1025 he shared the throne with  other emperors including his older brother Basil II, Nikephoros II and John I Tzimiskes (died aged 68)
  6. Basil II was Byzantine Emperor from 962 to 15 December 1025 (died aged 67)
  7. Ferdinand I, a.k.a. Re Nasone, was the King of Naples from 6 October 1759 to 23 January 1799, King of Sicily from 6 October 1759 to 12 December 1816, and King of the Two Sicilies from 12 December 1916 to 4 January 1825 (died aged 73).
  8. Elisabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand since 6 February 1952
  9. Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 to 22 January 1901 (died aged 81)
  10. James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon from 12 September 1213 to 27 July 1276 (died aged 68)

We have not included monarchs of territories controlled by a colonial power, small countries, principalities, counties, duchies etc. Among the sovereigns of these smaller territories it is important to mention Sobhuza II, King of Swaziland, who reigned for 82 years (1899 to 1982), Bernard VII, Lord of Lippe for 81 years; and William IV, Princely Count of Henneberg-Schleusingen for 78 years.

Queen Elizabeth II abdication?

Queen Elizabeth II is officially the longest reigning monarch in 1,000 years of British history. On Wednesday 9 September 2015, Elizabeth II surpassed Queen Victoria’s (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) record of 63 years and 216 days on the throne. Born on 21 April 1926, Elizabeth II became queen on 6 February 1952. Now, being 91 years old, many consider her well past normal retirement age and wonder whether it is time to abdicate, as other European monarchs have done recently. In January 2013,Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, then 75, initiated a trend of royal abdications, using the 200th anniversary of the current Dutch crown to pass the throne on to her son, Willem-Alexander. A few months later Belgium’s Albert II, then 78, also abdicated, and enabling his son Philippe to become king. On 2 June 2014, at 76, it was the turn to King Juan Carlos I of Spain to give up the throne, allegedly because of poor health, in favour of his son, Felipe VI. Monarchs are not the only heads of state that have recently resigned due to their age. In 2013, Joseph Ratzinger, then Pope Benedict XVI, surprised the whole world when he resigned as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church

Moreover, on 4 May 2017 the Queen's husband Prince Philip anounced publicly that he stepped down from public engagements. The Queen from now on will not be accompanied from her husband in official receptions, trips and national celebrations. His absence will certainly be felt after 70 years of marriage and public duties. Do you think it is time for Elizabeth II to step down?

What do you think, should Queen Elizabeth emulate other European monarchs and abdicate? Is time for Prince Charles to sit on the throne? What would be better for the monarchy and for the future of the UK?


Longest reigning British monarch, but is it time for Queen Elizabeth II's abdication? Vote and share your views on the Queen, the British Monarchy and on other long ruling monarchs in history.

If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.

Voting results

Longest reigning British monarch, but is it time for Queen Elizabeth II's abdication?

Join the debate

In order to join the debate you must be logged in.

Already have an account on netivist? Just login. New to netivist? Create your account for free.

Join the debate

In order to join the debate you must be logged in.

Already have an account on netivist? Just login. New to netivist? Create your account for free.

Next Article