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The Monarchs of 2020: Europe

As a new royal decade gets under way, thoughts turn to the future and what the coming years will hold for the monarchies which now rule across Europe. Several have seen major changes in the past ten years and all enter the new decade facing challenges as well as triumphs. As this new page turns in the regal story, Royal Central looks at the Monarchs who hold power as 2020 begins.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Stephen Lock/ i-Images

Elizabeth II will mark 68 years as Monarch in the early part of 2020. She ascended the throne on February 6th 1952 and is now the longest reigning Monarch in British history. Born on April 21st 1926, she is also the oldest ruler the country has ever had and she will turn 94 in the first year of the new decade.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

NATO via Flickr CC

Born without succession rights, on April 16th 1940, Margrethe II has become one of the most popular rulers Denmark has ever known. In 2020, she will celebrate her 80th birthday just months after marking the 48th anniversary of her accession to the throne on January 14th.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

By Frankie Fouganthin – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cropped

Europe’s longest reigning king as the 2020s get under way is Carl Gustaf of Sweden who became his country’s ruler on September 15th 1973. As well as celebrating 46 years of his reign this year, the Swedish monarch will also mark his 74th birthday which falls on April 30th.

King Harald V of Norway

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

Harald of Norway will mark the 29th anniversary of the start of his reign in the early days of 2020. He became king on January 17th 1991. He was born on February 21st 1937 and this year turns 83.

Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein

By GuentherZ – Own work, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Head of State since 1989, Hans-Adam II handed responsibility for the day to day governmental decision making to his son, Prince Alois, in 2004. Born on February 14th 1945, Hans-Adam will celebrate his 75th birthday this year.

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg

© Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli

This year sees the 20th anniversary of the reign of Henri of Luxembourg. He became Grand Duke on October 7th 2000 on the abdication of his father. Henri also has a special birthday to celebrate this year – he will be 65 on April 16th 2020.

Prince Albert II of Monaco

By The Chancellery of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, CC BY-SA 3.0 pl

There are more milestones to mark in Monaco this year where Albert II will celebrate 15 years as Sovereign Prince. He ascended his country’s throne on April 6th 2005 on the death of his father, Prince Rainier III. Albert was born on March 14th 1958 and will turn 62 in the first months of 2020.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands

By RVD, Jeroen van der Meyde, Wiki Commons

The first man to rule the Netherlands in over a century will mark the 7th anniversary of his reign in 2020. Willem-Alexander, born on April 27th 1967, became his country’s monarch on April 30th 2013.

King Philippe of the Belgians

Photo: Laura Dekkers

Belgium’s monarch, Philippe, celebrates his 60th birthday in 2020. Born on April 15th 1960, Philippe took his country’s throne on July 21st 2013 and will mark 7 years of his reign this summer.

King Felipe VI of Spain

By Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation), CC BY 2.5 ar, Wiki Commons

Europe’s youngest monarch is King Felipe VI of Spain who was born on January 30th 1968 and turns 52 this year. He will celebrate 6 years of his reign on June 19th 2020.

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.