In three years, Queen Elizabeth II will break the record as the longest-reigning monarch of all time.
Four months ago, on April 9, 2021, Philip of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died of heart disease, making him one of the three longest-living members of the British royal family in history.
With his death, the long life expectancy of the various members of the British monarchy became evident. Philip of Edinburgh died less than two months from his 100th birthday. In addition, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the mother of the current Queen, died at the age of 101, demonstrating how the British family has great genes.
The death of Prince Philip evidences the lifestyles of European monarchies, which constantly related between themselves and the respective aristocracies. He was born in Corfu, a city in northwestern Greece. Due to the political crisis, Philip's family was forced into exile, making Philip's early childhood a nomadic one. Even after settling in the UK during his adolescence, Philip kept traveling the world until he married Elizabeth, still a young princess back then. They were married on November 20, 1947, and their marriage lasted for more than seven decades.
Currently, Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning ruler with the fourth-longest reign in world history. At 94, Elizabeth II has now been Great Britain's monarch for over 69 years and is three years away from surpassing the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King.
Louis XIV of France
The Sun King came to the throne when he was only five years old and implemented an absolutist regime explained with the phrase: "I am the State." During his reign he promoted the arts like no French monarch had done so before. He built luxurious palaces being Versailles a clear example of The Sun King's extravagant life. Louis XIV died in 1715, having just turned 77.
Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand
The second monarch with the longest reign is Bhumibol Adulyadej, better known as Rama IX; the Thai sovereign was king until 2016. His reign began in 1946 and lasted 70 years and 126 days. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and studied for a short time in Bangkok, but finished high school and studied political science in Switzerland. Forbes considers him one of the Top 15 richest monarchs in the world. He was known in his country as "The Great One."
Johann II of Liechtenstein
Johann II is the third and last sovereign to have a longer reign than Elizabeth II. However, it is believed that the Queen of England will soon surpass him. Johann II's reign lasted from 1858 to 1929, that is, 70 years and 91 days. In his lifetime, he had no wife or children, and because of that, the monarchy passed into the hands of his brother, Francis I.
Queen Elizabeth II and her eternal reign
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (Elizabeth II) has reigned since 1952. During her mandate, she has witnessed some of the most important moments in contemporary history, such as the reconstruction of Europe after World War II, the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Iraq war, and the height of Islamist terrorism.
The almost perpetual reign of Elizabeth II has postponed for decades the arrival to the throne of her successor, Prince Charles. At the age of 72 is the longest-living heir to the throne, so whenever he becomes king (if he does), he'll be the same age some monarchs tend to retire.
The Prince of Wales is the eldest of the four children of Elizabeth and Philip: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. For several years it was thought the Queen was going to abdicate in Charles' favor, but nowadays, the possibility is looking more and more distant.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
Photos from Wikimedia Commons