The Top Ten: Longest-reigning British monarchs

John Rentoul
Sunday 29 November 2015 11:02 GMT
Elizabeth II: 1952-present, 63 years to date
Elizabeth II: 1952-present, 63 years to date

This came from a quiz question at my local pub that asked us to name the six British monarchs who reigned for more than 50 years. I had little idea: I could name only two

1. Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom 1952-present, 63 years to date.

2. Victoria of the United Kingdom 1837-1901, 63 years.

3. George III of the United Kingdom 1760-1820, 59 years.

4. James VI of Scotland (and I of England) 1567-1625, 57 years.

5. Henry III of England 1216-1272, 56 years.

6. Edward III of England 1327-1377, 50 years.

7. William I of Scotland 1165-1214, 48 years.

8. Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak 1868-1917, 48 years. If British monarch is taken to be a ruling monarch who is British by nationality, Alasdair Brooks offers the longest-serving "White Rajah".

9. Llywelyn II of Gwynedd 1194 or 1195-1240, 44-46 years. Thanks to Clive Carpenter and Davey Barton, who calls him "My local chap."

10. Elizabeth I of England and Ireland 1558-1603, 44 years.

Next week: Worst Christmas songs

Coming soon: Interesting numbers. Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in