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List of shortest reigning monarchs of all time: Wikis

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Contents

Unknown periods thought to be less than a year

Note: Some of the following have been disputed as legitimate monarchs

Name

Country

Royal House/Dynasty

Succession

Reign Ended

Length

Comments

Emperor Triệu Dương Vương

Vietnam

Triệu

111 B.C.

111 B.C.

Captured and executed by the Han after his army was destroyed leading to 150 years of Chinese mastery.

King Ildibad

King of the Ostrogoths

540

541

Assassinated by a Gepid

King Eraric

King of the Ostrogoths

541

541

Assassinated by a member of his own royal guard.

High King Fogartach mac Néill

Ireland

Uí Néill

724

724

Claimed by some to be the High King of Ireland for several months during a period of high conflict.

Jaya Harivarman II

Champa

1167

1167

Jaya Indravarman V

Champa

1191

1191

Emperor Constantine Laskaris

Nicea

Angelus

1204

1204

Constantine Laskaris was the emperor of Nicea for a short period after Alexios V Doukas was deposed as the Byzantine emperor by the Fourth Crusade.

Emperor Mạc Toàn

Vietnam

Mạc

1592

1592

Mạc Toàn succeeded Mạc Mậu Hợp for a short period after the latter was killed by the forces of Trịnh Tùng.

Less than a year

Note: Some of the following have been disputed as legitimate monarchs

Name

Country

Royal House/Dynasty

Succession

Reign Ended

Length

Comments

Empress Lý Chiêu Hoàng

Vietnam

L‎ý

October 1224

21 October 1225

~1 Year

Succeeded the throne through the suicide of her father L‎ý Huệ Tông. Renounced her claim on the throne for her husband Trần Thái Tông founder of the Trần Dynasty.

Emperor Hồ Quý Ly

Vietnam

Hồ

February 1400

c1400-1401

~1 Year

Hồ Quý Ly succeeded the throne after coaxing emperor Trần Thuận Tông to relinquish power to a three year old prince named An. Trần Thuận Tông was then executed and the throne was seized from An. Hồ Quý Ly renounced the throne in favour of his son Hồ Hán Thương.

King Louis XVIII

France

Bourbon

6 April 1814

20 March 1815

11 Months 14 Days

Louis XVIII gained the throne of France after the abdication of Emperor Napoleon I only to lose it to Napoleon I again during the Hundred Days, Then with Napoleon I defeated once more he abdicated in favour of Napoleon II who was also removed in favour of a restoration of Louis XVIII who then reigned from 8 July 1815 until his death on 16 September 1824.

Emperor Hàm Nghi

Vietnam

Nguyễn

1 August 1884

4 July 1885

11 Months 3 Days

Captured during the Mandarins' Revolt and the French replaced him with Đồng Khánh.

King Fuad II of Egypt

Egypt and The Sudan

Muhammad Ali

26 July 1952

18 June 1953

10 Months 23 Days

Succeeded the throne after the abdication of Farouk I after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. Faud II's reign came to an end with the declaration of a republic in Egypt.

King/Emperor Edward VIII

Great Britain, Ireland and British dominions beyond the seas and India

Windsor

20 January 1936

11 December 1936

10 Months 22 Days

Edward VIII abdicated the throne in favour of his brother George VI of the United Kingdom to avoid a constitutional crisis.

Emperor Agustín I

Mexican Empire

Iturbide

19 May 1822

19 March 1823

10 Months

Agustín I was proclaimed emperor by the Parliament of the newly independent Mexican Empire and later deposed by Republican forces leading to the foundation of the First Mexican Republic. His grandsons were later adopted by Mexico's second Emperor Maximilian I of the House of Habsburg in the 1860s.

Tsar Dmitry II

All Russia

Otriepjew

21 July 1605

17 May 1606

9 Months 27 Days

Dmitry II claimed the throne of All Russia after the capture and assassination of Feodor II. Dmitry II's reign was cut short when he was assassinated during an assault on the Kremlin.

King Christian II

Sweden

Oldenburg

1 November 1520

23 August 1521

9 Months 22 Days

After conquering Sweden in the spring and summer of 1520, king Christian II of Denmark and Norway made his entry into the defeated Swedish capital of Stockholm on 7 September 1520. On 1 November he was elected and on 4 November he was coronated king of Sweden. On 23 August 1521, he was officially deposed, when Gustav Vasa was elected regent of Sweden at a meeting in Vadstena.

King Harold II

England

Godwin

5 January 1066

14 October 1066

9 Months 9 Days

Harold II succeeded the throne after the death of Edward the Confessor and was killed at the Battle of Hastings during the Norman invasion of England to claim the throne for the future William I and was succeeded briefly by Edgar the Ætheling.

Emir Habibullāh Ghāzī

Afghanistan

17 January 1929

13 October 1929

8 Months 26 Days

Habibullāh Ghāzī succeeded Inayatullah Khan Seraj who had abdicated in his favour after only three days. Habibullāh Ghāzī's reign soon ended when he was deposed and executed by Mohammed Nadir Shah.

Emperor Le Nghi Dan

Vietnam

28 October 1459

24 June 1460

8 Months 25 Days

Succeeded the throne by leading a revolt against and killing his younger brother Lê Nhân Tông. Nghi Dan's reign ended in another revolution in which he was killed and replaced by his younger brother Lê Thánh Tông.

King Louis I

Spain

Bourbon

14 January 1724

31 August 1724

7 Months 17 Days

Louis I succeeded the throne after the abdication of his father Philip V who also regained the throne after the death of Louis I from smallpox.

Queen Matilda

England

Plantagenet/Salian/Normandy

Spring 1141

Autumn 1141

c5-9 Months

Matilda seized the throne after capturing King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln 2 February 1141. Matilda later released Stephen in trade for her half-brother after which Stephen reclaimed the throne in November.

King Edmund

England

Wessex

23 April 1016

30 November 1016

7 Months 7 Days

Edmund's kingdom was ceded to Canute I after his death the cause of which is uncertain.

King Lulach

King of Scots

Moray

15 August 1057

17 March 1058

7 Months 2 Days

Lulach succeeded the throne after Macbeth of Scotland was killed in battle by the future Malcolm III of Scotland, Lulach himself was also slain by Malcolm III who succeeded him.

Emperor Heraklonas

Byzantine Empire

Heraclian

11 February 641

September 641

~7 Months

Heraklonas became joint co-emperor with his brother Constantine III at the time of his father's death and then sole emperor on the death of his brother Constantine III in May 641. Heroklonas was then forced to accept Constantine III's son joint emperor as Constans II. Heroklonas was then mutilated and banished after a revolt leaving Constans II as sole emperor.

King Hildeprand

King of the Lombards

January 744

<August 744

<7 Months

Deposed and dead by August 744.

Emperor Dương Nhật Lễ

Vietnam

Trần

1369

20 May 1370

>6 Months

Dethroned and killed. Replaced by Trần Phủ.

Emperor Kiến Phúc

Vietnam

Nguyễn

2 December 1883

31 July 1884

6 Months 29 Days

Succeeded the throne after the murder of emperor Hiệp Hoà. Kiến Phúc was also murdered and succeeded by Hàm Nghi (who also reigned less than a year).

Mbret William

Albania

Wied

7 March 1914

3 September 1914

6 Months 27 Days

William accepted a request from Albania to be it's sovereign and soon, due to the outbreak of the First World War and civil war within Albania, fled into exile. Albania officially declared itself a republic on 31 January 1925.

King Christian Frederick

Norway

Oldenburg

16 February 1814

28 August 1814

6 Months 12 Days

Christian Frederick was created King of Norway upon it's independence from Denmark after defeat in the Napoleonic Wars and the Treaty of Kiel. Later in 1814 after an invasion by Sweden Christian Frederick renounced the throne after the Convention of Moss. Christian Frederick would later become King Christian VIII of Denmark.

Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah

Zanzibar

Al Sa'id

1 July 1963

12 January 1964

6 Months 11 Days

Jamshid bin Abdullah's short reign was brought to an end by the Zanzibar revolution and the abolishment of the sultanate.

Emperor Lê Túc Tông

Vietnam

6 June 1504

7 December 1504

6 Months 1 Day

Lê Túc Tông was possibly murdered by his older brother and successor Lê Uy Mục.

King Donald III

King of Scots

Dunkeld

13 November 1093

May 1094

~6 Months

Donald III succeeded the throne after the assassination of Malcolm III and later lost the throne to Duncan II. Donald III regained the throne on 12 November 1094 after the assassination of Duncan II and reigned until 1097.

King Charles I

King of Norway

Bonde

20 November 1449

June 1450

~6 Months

Charles was elected king in Trondheim after the death of Christopher of Bavaria, but Christian I had more supporters in southern Norway and was able to force Charles' abdication.

King Duncan II

King of Scots

Dunkeld

May 1094

12 November 1094

~6 Months

Duncan II seized the throne from Donald III only to be assassinated and replaced by him.

Emperor Alexius IV Angelus

Byzantine Empire

Angelus

1 August 1203

27 January 1204

5 Months 26 Days

Alexius IV Angelus became co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire when his father Isaac II Angelus regained the throne from Alexius III Angelus. Both reigns would be short being usurped by Alexios V Doukas leading to the deaths of Alexius IV Angelus and Isaac II Angelus.

Emperor Wu Sangui

China

Zhou

March 1678

August 1678

~5 Months

Wu Sangui proclaimed himself Emperor of a new Zhou Dynasty and was soon quashed by Kangxi. Wu Sangui had also been instrumental in the removal of Emperor Li Zicheng.

Emperor Isaac II Angelus

Byzantine Empire

Angelus

1 August 1203

~January 1204

~5 Months

Isaac II Angelus had previously been Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 7 September 1185 until 1195 until he was imprisoned by his brother Alexius III Angelus, who usurped the throne from him. After Isaac II Angelus was released from captivity by the Fourth Crusade he then regained his empire with his son Alexius IV Angelus as co-emperor forcing Alexius III Angelus into exile. This second reign ended when he and his son Alexius IV Angelus were captured and usurped once more by Alexios V Doukas, this time resulting in the death of Isaac II Angelus and Alexius IV Angelus.

King Charles VIII of Sweden

King of Sweden

Bonde

Autumn 1464

30 January 1465

4-5 Months

Charles, who had been removed from office 7 years prior, was recalled during a rebellion, but soon found his luck changed and was force out of office a second time. He would return to claim the throne a third time in 1467.

Duke Eduard

Anhalt

Ascania

21 April 1918

13 September 1918

4 Months 23 Days

Eduard succeeded his brother Friedrich II only to die within 5 months and leave the throne to his son Joachim Ernst.

Duke Charles II

Parma

Bourbon-Parma

17 December 1847

19 April 1848

4 Months 2 Days

Charles II abdicated in favour of his son Charles III after the revolution of 1848. Charles II had previously succeeded his father King Louis I of Etruria to become Louis I from 27 May 1803 to 1807 when it was annexed by France and succeeded his mother Maria Louisa to become Duke Charles I of Lucca from 13 March 1824 to 1847 when it was annexed by Tuscany.

Emperor Hiệp Hoà

Vietnam

Nguyễn

30 July 1883

29 November 1883

3 Months 29 Days

Succeeded the throne after the death emperor Dục Đức after a reign of 3 days. Hiệp Hoà was murdered and succeeded by Kiến Phúc (who also reigned less than a year).

King Mindaugas II

Lithuania

Württemberg

11 July 1918

2 November 1918

3 Months 21 Days

Mindaugas II was elected King by the Council of Lithuania soon after independence from the Russian Empire and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The council soon changed its decision and declared Lithuania a republic.

Emperor Napoleon I

Emperor of the French

Bonaparte

1 March 1815

22 June 1815

3 Months 21 Days

Napoleon I usurped the throne of Louis XVIII during the Hundred Days only to abdicate in favour of his son Napoleon II after heavy defeat. Napoleon I had previously been emperor from 20 March 1804 until abdicating in favour of Louis XVIII on 6 April 1814.

Kaiser/King Frederick III

German Empire and Prussia

Hohenzollern

9 March 1888

15 June 1888

3 Months 6 Days

Frederick III succeeded his father's throne with terminal larynx cancer and was unable to speak during his brief reign.

Sultan Murad V

Ottoman Empire

Osman

30 May 1876

31 August 1876

3 Months 1 Day

Murad V replaced his uncle Abdülaziz who had been deposed by his ministers (and died soon after). Murad V was also soon deposed in favour of his brother Abdul Hamid II, who was also deposed.

King Teia

King of the Ostrogoths

1 July 552

cOctober 552

~3 Months

Probably killed at the Battle of Mons Lactarius.

Emperor Constantine III

Byzantine Empire

Heraclian

11 February 641

May 641

~3 Months

Constantine III was junior co-emperor with his father Heraclius from 22 January 613 until his death 11 February 641. Constantine III then became joint co-emperor with his brother Heraklonas who was sole emperor after Constantine III's death.

Emperor Yuan Shikai

China

Yuan

1 January 1916

22 March 1916

2 Months 22 Days

President Yuan Shikai declared himself emperor of his newly created Chinese Empire on 1 January 1916. Due to the unpopularity of the new Empire he reverted back to being the president of the Republic of China until his death on 5 June 1916.

King Pedro IV

Portugal

Braganza

10 March 1826

28 May 1826

2 Months 18 Days

Pedro succeeded the throne upon the death of his father and was forced to abdicate in favour of his daughter Maria II. He also reigned as Emperor Pedro I of Brazil from 12 October 1822 to 7 April 1831 until he abdicated in favour of his son Pedro II.

King Edward V

England

York

9 April 1483

25 June 1483

2 Months 16 Days

Edward V succeeded the throne on the death of his father Edward IV and was replaced by his Uncle who became Richard III after Parliament declared Edward V's claim to the throne invalid. It is unknown what happened to Edward V after his "reign".

Emperor Alexios V Doukas

Byzantine Empire

Angelus

5 February 1204

12 April 1204

2 Months 7 Days

Alexios V Doukas usurped the throne from co-emperors Isaac II Angelus and Alexius IV Angelus and was then deposed during the Fourth Crusade, soon after whilst in exile he was blinded by his father-in-law the previously deposed Alexius III Angelus and then brought back to Constantinople and sentenced to death for treason.

King Väinö I

Finland

Hesse-Kassel

9 October 1918

14 December 1918

2 Months 5 Days

Väinö I was elected king by the newly independent Kingdom of Finland and due to German defeat in the First World War renounced his title without travelling to his own kingdom.

Chúa Trịnh Cán

Vietnam

Trịnh

1782

1782

~2 Months

Trịnh Cán succeeded his father Trịnh Sâm to the throne aged 6 years and his half brother Trịnh Khải soon killed him and usurped his throne.

Duke Joachim Ernst

Anhalt

Ascania

13 September 1918

12 November 1918

1 Month 30 Days

Joachim Ernst abdicated his throne at the end of the First World War during the German revolution. He died as a prisoner of war in Buchenwald camp as a prisoner of Soviet forces.

King Edgar the Ætheling

England

Wessex

15 October 1066

10 December 1066

1 Month 25 Days

Edgar succeeded the throne with the death of Harold II during the Norman invasion only to submit his throne to William I.

Tsar Feodor II

All Russia

Godunov

23 April 1605

20 June 1605

1 Month 22 Days

Tsar Feodor II succeeded to the throne after the death of his father Boris Godunov and was soon after killed during the Time of Troubles.

Emperor Ziying

China

mid-October 207 BC.

December 207 BC.

1 Month 16 Days

Ziying was the last ruler of the Qin Dynasty of China

Emperor Ningzong

China

~1332

~1332

1 Month 13 Days

Ningzong was briefly installed as Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, a ruling dynasty of China.

King Sweyn I

England

25 December 1013

3 February 1014

1 Month 9 Days

Sweyn usurped the throne from Æthelred II who regained the throne after Sweyn's death. Sweyn was also king of Denmark from c985 and king of Norway c985 to 995 and co-monarch from 1000 until his death.

King Umberto II

Italy

Savoy

9 May 1946

12 June 1946

1 Month 3 Days

Umberto II succeeded the throne when his father Victor Emmanuel III abdicated in an attempt to retain the monarchy. 33 Days after the succession of Umberto II a republic was declared.

Emperor Li Zicheng

China

Li

25 April 1644

27 May 1644

1 Month 2 Days

Li Zicheng declared himself Emperor of China after Chongzhen committed suicide and was then forced from power after the Battle of Shanhai Pass.

Less than a month

Note: Some of the following have been disputed as legitimate monarchs

Name

Country

Royal House/Dynasty

Succession

Reign Ended

Length

Comments

Emperor Táichàng

Empire of the Great Ming

Ming

28 August 1620

26 September 1620

29 Days

Died after a bout of diarrhoea which could have been caused by poisoning.

Emperor Changyi Wang

Han

Han

74 B.C.

74 B.C.

27 Days

Installed and deposed by Regent Huo Guang.

Prince Milan Obrenović II

Serbia

Obrenović

25 June 1839

8 July 1839

26 Days

Succeeded with the abdication of his father Miloš Obrenović I although due to ill health he may never have been aware of his own rule, dying after 26 days.

Emperor Constantine

Russian Empire

Romanov

1 December 1825

25 December 1825

24 Days

Succeeded his elder brother Alexander I and abdicated in favour of his younger brother Nicholas I leading to the Decembrist revolt.

Emperor Gordian I

Roman Empire

Gordianan

22 March 238

12 April 238

21 Days

Proclaimed joint Augustus with his son Gordian II after leading a revolt against Maximinus I. Gordian I hanged himself on hearing the news that Gordian II had fallen in battle against Maximinus I.

Emperor Gordian II

Roman Empire

Gordianan

22 March 238

12 April 238

21 Days

Proclaimed joint Augustus with his father Gordian I after leading a revolt against Maximinus I. Gordian II was killed at the Battle of Carthage.

Emperor Shang

China

Tang

8 July 710

25 July 710

18 Days

Installed by Empress Wei to succeed Emperor Zhongzong, but was deposed 18 days later in a coup.

Emperor Napoleon II

Emperor of the French

Bonaparte

22 June 1815

7 July 1815

16 Days

Succeeded with the abdication of Napoleon I and deposed with the restoration of Louis XVIII.

King Lodewijk II

Holland

Bonaparte

1 July 1810

13 July 1810

12 Days

Succeeded with the abdication of his father Lodewijk Napoleon only to have his kingdom annexed by Napoleon I of the French.

Emperor Puyi

China

Qing

1 July 1917

12 July 1917

12 Days

Restored by Zhang Xun in a coup, but the republic was restored by Duan Qirui 12 days later.

Queen Jane

England and Ireland

Tudor

10 July 1553

19 July 1553

9 Days

Proclaimed Queen four days after the death of Edward VI only to be removed and later executed by Mary I.

Emir Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah

Kuwait

Al-Sabah

15 January 2006

24 January 2006

9 Days

Succeeded with the death of Jaber III Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabahand voted out of office by parliament due to ill health before being able to issue his abdication in favour of Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

King Henry V

King of the French

Bourbon

2 August 1830

9 August 1830

7 Days

Succeeded with the abdications of Charles X and then Louis XIX 20 minutes later, only to be rejected by the National Assembly in favour of Louis-Phillipe.

King Thong Lan

Ayutthaya Kingdom

Suphannaphum

1370

1370

7 Days

Succeeded with the death of Borommarachathirat I and then Ramesuan's forces quickly took the palace and executed King Thong Lan .King Ramesuan then held the throne.

King Zimri

Israel

c885 B.C. or c876 B.C.

c885 B.C. or c876 B.C.

7 Days

A biblical king from the Books of Kings.

Less than a week

Note: Some of the following have been disputed as legitimate monarchs

Name

Country

Royal House/Dynasty

Succession

Reign Ended

Length

Comments

"King" Otto Witte

"Albania"

13 August 1913

18 August 1913

5 Days

Unverifiable, possibly a pathological liar.

King John I

France and Navarre

Capet

15 November 1316

20 November 1316

5 Days

Posthumous son of Louis X, died aged 5 days.

Vua Lê Trung Tông

Vietnam

October 1005

October 1005

3 Days

Assassinated by order of his successor Lê Ngoạ Triều.

Vua Lê Quang Trị

Vietnam

1516

1516

3 Days

Vua Dục Đức

Vietnam

Nguyễn

20 July 1883

23 July 1883

3 Days

King Inayatullah Khan Seraj

Afghanistan

Barakzai

14 January 1929

17 January 1929

3 Days

Inayatullah Khan Seraj replaced his brother King Amanullah Khan who had abdicated. Inayatullah Khan Seraj then abdicated himself three days later in favour of Habibullāh Ghāzī who was deposed 8 months later.

King Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev

Nepal

Shah

1 June 2001

4 June 2001

<56 Hours

Succeeded to the throne after the murder of his father Birendra during the Nepalese royal massacre in which Dipendra inflicted mortal wounds upon himself.

Sultan Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash

Zanzibar

Al Bu Sa'id

25 August 1896

27 August 1896

2 Days

Seized power after the death of Sayyid Hamad bin Thuwaini Al-Busaid resulting in the 38 minute Anglo-Zanzibar War. Replaced by Sayyid Hamoud bin Mohammed Al-Said after surrender.

Less than a day

Due to the ephemeral nature of their reigns, the following have been disputed as legitimate monarchs:

Name

Country

Royal House/Dynasty

Succession

Reign Ended

Length

Comments

King Saul Wahl

Poland

Katzenellenbogen

c18 August 1587

c18 August 1587

c1 Day or 1 Night

"Rex Pro Tempore", Possibly legend.

Emperor Michael II

Russian Empire

Romanov

15 March 1917

16 March 1917

c16 Hours

Deferred acceptance. Later killed.

Emperor Modi

Jin

Jurchen

9 February 1234

9 February 1234

c12 Hours

Crowned while under assault by Mongolians and killed after the coronation.

King Luis II

Portugal

House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

1 February 1908

1 February 1908

c20 Minutes

Lisbon Regicide. His father Carlos I died immediately, while Luís Filipe lived for another twenty minutes. Disputed as a legitimate monarch.

King Louis XIX

King of France

Bourbon

2 August 1830

2 August 1830

c20 Minutes

Succeeded with abdication of Charles X only to abdicate in favour of Henry V.

See also

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