The date is set, the bunting is being dusted down and plans for the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II are well under way. Between June 2nd and 5th 2021, The Queen will take centre stage in a series of events marking her 70 year long reign. She is the first British Monarch to reach that milestone but just days before the celebrations take place, she will achieve another landmark. For in May 2022, Elizabeth II will become the third longest reigning Monarch in recorded history.
Right now, in 2021, she is number four on the list of longest ever verified reigns. Right at the top of that tree is King Louis XIV of France who ruled for 72 years and 110 days, between May 1643 and September 1715. But between Louis and Elizabeth sits a man whose long reign is about to be eclipsed.
Johann II of Liechtenstein ruled for 70 years and 91 days, between November 12th 1858 and February 11th 1929. On May 8th 2022, The Queen will draw level with that record and overtake it on May 9th 2022, at that point achieving the third longest reign in recorded history.
She won’t have long to wait to make even more history. Soon after her Platinum Jubilee weekend, she will move up to second on this rather select list. Rama IX of Thailand ruled for 70 years and 126 days, between June 9th 1946 and October 13th 2016. On June 13th 2022, Elizabeth II’s reign will have reached the same length. On June 14th 2022, The Queen becomes the second longest ruler in recorded history.
The top spot remains with King Louis XIV for another two years. The Queen will match his tenure on May 26th 2024 and overtake him on May 27th that year.
There are others whose long reigns have never been verified in similar ways and who might well have ruled longer than Louis XIV. But his epic time as King of France remains the record breaker.
When The Queen became the longest reigning Monarch in British history, on September 9th 2015, she said the place in history was ”not one to which I have ever aspired”. On that famous day, she also remarked ”“Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones – my own is no exception – but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness.”
As she prepares to mark her Platinum Jubilee, another milestone beckons, one that will once more cement the Elizabeth II’s place in history.