77 votes
Accepted

Which monarch had the longest break in their reign?

Norodom Sihanouk was crowned King of Cambodia on 3 May 1941. At the time, Cambodia was a colony of France, so he was not really a head of state yet. But he remained king, and therefore head of state, ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
75 votes
Accepted

Why was it "acceptable" for Prince Charles to marry a divorced woman, when Edward VIII had to abdicate for marrying divorcee Wallis Simpson?

It is mostly due to the differing social attitudes of the day, but the legal position was also different in 1936. The Wikipedia page is pretty clear about the social attitudes, but I'll try to explain ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
66 votes

Were Egyptian Pharaohs literate?

First, a few general observations: The time period covered here is more than 3,000 years and we know very little about many of the Pharaohs. Also, there were different scripts which evolved over time ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
58 votes
Accepted

Why does the King of Spain still claim defunct titles like the King of Hungary?

They're maintained as a matter of tradition, which is not unusual in monarchies. It's used both for prestige and as a relic of an era when European diplomacy revolved around territorial claims of the ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k
58 votes

What is the highest number of brothers who became ruler of the same country?

Here are six brothers, sons of Abdul Aziz (1902-53), who have been (and the most recent still is) Kings of Saudi Arabia: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/House_of_Saud_rulers....
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
55 votes
Accepted

Have any kings ever been serving admirals?

It turns out William IV wasn't called the "Sailor King" for nothing. He was a younger son of George III and thus didn't expect ever to become king. His naval career began at the age of ...
C Monsour's user avatar
  • 4,244
53 votes

Were any Kings/Queens who were monarchs as children good rulers?

As Mark C. Wallace's comment points, the answer depends on what you see as a good king. However, there are kings who became kings while children and are still regarded as great kings - at least, among ...
Pere's user avatar
  • 3,871
44 votes
Accepted

What is the highest number of brothers who became ruler of the same country?

Seven brothers Seven of the sons of Ismail Ibn Sharif of the Morocco Alaouite dynasty were monarchs. Ismail ruled from 1672 to 1727 and had 525 sons and 342 daughters according to Wikipedia (or 888 ...
JLK's user avatar
  • 2,213
43 votes
Accepted

Why is Lady Jane Grey called Lady instead of Queen?

The claim that she was queen was based on the assertion that Mary and Elizabeth were disinherited, and in particular (from Edward's will) that the said ladie Mary and ladie Elizabeth, beinge ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 2,097
42 votes

Which monarch had the longest break in their reign?

This is a little stretch from your question, but Simeon II of Bulgaria ruled as Tsar of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1946, before later serving as Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005. This is an ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 5,873
39 votes
Accepted

Was Richard I's imprisonment by Leopold of Austria justified?

The Middle Ages was not particularly known for being a civil and orderly period. Leopold V had no authority of any kind to arrest Richard I. He did it simply because he wanted to, and could. The ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k
38 votes
Accepted

Were any Kings/Queens who were monarchs as children good rulers?

King James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) The existing answers have not given examples of Kings from British History. James VI became King in Scotland as a baby of 13 months, following the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 1,380
37 votes
Accepted

Was the insanity of kings used as an argument against monarchy?

Mental illness wasn't perceived as a medical condition until recent centuries. It became notional that it might be during the Enlightenment, and it only captured the popular imagination that it was ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

Could George I (of Great Britain) speak English?

Yes, George I was indeed able to speak English. Not particularly well, mind you, but also not nearly as incapably as popular history portrays. In fact, he even opened his first Parliament in English: ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k
33 votes

Why was it "acceptable" for Prince Charles to marry a divorced woman, when Edward VIII had to abdicate for marrying divorcee Wallis Simpson?

One thing I'm not seeing in the answers so far is that having been married prior wasn't the only strike against Wallis Simpson. She: Was not nobility Was not British Had been divorced not once, but ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
33 votes

Were any Kings/Queens who were monarchs as children good rulers?

Peter the Great of Russia took the throne at age 10, and Ivan the Terrible (who was terrifying, not incompetent) became Prince of Moscow at age 3. Both of them were successful at centralizing power, ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 1,547
32 votes
Accepted

Who was the longest lived European monarch of the middle ages?

Among the rulers we're pretty certain about: William IV of Henneberg-Schleusingen lived for ~84 years. Note that Henneberg-Schleusingen was a princely state within the Holy Roman Empire, so whether ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k
32 votes

Have any kings ever been serving admirals?

Leotychidas II of Sparta During the Greco-Persian Wars, King Leotychidas II of Sparta (reigned 491 to 476 BC) was appointed admiral in overall command of the Greek fleet in 479 BC, while he was king. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Was there a King of England, or an heir to the throne, in 1831 who idolized Michael Faraday?

According to this book both Prince Albert and Prince Edward (who became King Edward VII) attended lectures by Faraday, but it seems to be Albert who was the real fan. Michael Faraday (1791-1867), a ...
Steve Bird's user avatar
  • 19.9k
31 votes
Accepted

Was the title "Prince of Wales" originally claimed for the English crown prince via a trick?

tl;dr: No, at least not in the sense suggested. The earliest source of something akin to this story, seems to be the 1584 Historie of Cambria, now called Wales, the first printed history of Wales. ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k
29 votes
Accepted

Which European monarch of the middle ages died furthest from home?

The Danish King Erik I Ejegod (The Good) died in Paphos, Cyprus, 1736 miles / 2794 km from the then capital of Denmark, Roskilde. Erik, who was born around 1056 or 1060 and reigned from 1095 to 1103, ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Who was the last European king to actively engage in combat?

Perhaps Charles XII in 1713. The king himself killed at least one Ottoman soldier with his sword in hand-to-hand combat when he and Roos came under attack by 3 Ottomans. During parts of the ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,701
25 votes

Why couldn't bastards inherit titles?

Because for society as a whole, a peaceful transition of power is infinitely more important than honoring whatever rights a bastard might claim. The most dangerous time for any kingdom (or nation, ...
pokep's user avatar
  • 1,815
24 votes

Which monarch had the longest break in their reign?

Vlad Tepes, 14 years Vlad III first ruled as Voïvode of Vallachia for of couple of months in 1448, then from 1456 to 1462 (after a first gap of 5 and a half years), and reclaimed his throne again in ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 5,873
23 votes
Accepted

What's the reason behind the 17th century tradition of British monarchs being depicted on coins facing in the opposite direction to their predecessor?

I find the answer given by news outlets to be insufficient, as it still does not answer what the symbolic meaning or reason behind this tradition that began with Charles II is. And correctly so, ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,716
20 votes

Which European monarch of the middle ages died furthest from home?

Very likely Grand Prince Yaroslav II Vsevolodich or one of the many other princes in Eastern Europe who were ordered to go to Mongolia and died there. Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver was canonized for ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 1,547
20 votes

Were any Kings/Queens who were monarchs as children good rulers?

There were a couple of notable pharaohs: Thutmose III, born 1481 BC, reigned 1479–1425 BC, was only about 2 year old when he became pharaoh. His co-regent was his stepmother Hatshepsut, but she ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Did the later Byzantine Emperors use regnal numbers?

According to the Wikipedia article on Constantine XI Palaiologos, no. Despite the increase in emperors with the same name during the Middle Ages, such as the several Michaels and Constantines, the ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 20.8k
19 votes

Were any Kings/Queens who were monarchs as children good rulers?

A child monarch generally has to have a Regency period, where someone else actually wields all the powers of state in their behalf, until they reach adulthood and can reasonably be expected to do it ...
17 votes

Why couldn't bastards inherit titles?

Most "bastards" were sired by their fathers with women of a lower rank than the fathers. Kings and princes would seldom have access to "princesses" (who were protected and treated like vestal virgins ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible