The Info List - Reign

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A reign is the period of a person's or dynasty's occupation of the office of monarch of a nation (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Andorra), of a people (e.g., the Franks, the Zulus) or of a spiritual community (e.g., Roman Catholicism, Tibetan Buddhism, Nizari Ismailism). In most hereditary monarchies and some elective monarchies (e.g., Holy Roman Empire) there have been no limits on the duration of a sovereign's reign or incumbency, nor is there a term of office. Thus, a reign usually lasts until the monarch dies, unless the monarchy itself is abolished or the monarch abdicates or is deposed. In elective monarchies, there may be a fixed period of time for the duration of the monarch's tenure in office (e.g., Malaysia). The term of a reign can be indicated with the abbreviation "r." (for Latin
rexit) after a sovereign's name, such as the following:

George VI, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions, Emperor of India (r. 1936–1952)


1 Regnal periods

1.1 Abdications 1.2 Abolitions

2 See also 3 References

Regnal periods[edit] Notable reigns have included the following.

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, Empress of India reigned from 1837 to 1901. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
reigned from 1900 to 1946. King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Bhumibol Adulyadej
of Thailand reigned from 1946 to 2016. Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
of the Commonwealth realms reigns from 1952 to present. Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
reigned from 1958 to 1963. Emperor Akihito
of Japan reigns from 1989 to present.

A reign can be ended in three ways:

death abdication abolition of the office


Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, King of Lombardy-Venetia (r. 1835-1848) was abdicated due to his disabilities (feeble-mindedness and epilepsy). His successor, Emperor Franz Josef (r. 1848–1916) reigned for 68 years. King Edward VIII
Edward VIII
reigned from January to December 1936 before he abdicated the throne. After his abdication he became known as the Duke of Windsor. No other monarch of the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800), the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, or any Dominion or Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth realm
has ever abdicated, though forced abdications did occur on rare occasions in the Kingdom of England
and the Kingdom of Scotland
prior to their merger in 1707. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
reigned from 1890 to 1948, before abdicating in favor of her daughter, Queen Juliana who did herself. Juliana then reigned until 1980 when she abdicated in favor of her daughter, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Beatrix would follow suit and she abdicated in 2013 in favour of her son and heir apparent, King Willem-Alexander.


King Louis XVI of France
Louis XVI of France
reigned from the 1770s until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1792 and his execution the following year. King Humbert II of Italy
Humbert II of Italy
reigned for only a few weeks in 1946 before the abolition of the Italian Monarchy. King Constantine II of Greece
Constantine II of Greece
reigned from 1963 until the abolition of the Greek monarchy in 1973. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia
reigned from 1894 to 1917 during the Russian Revolution when he was forced to abdicate and the Russian Empire was overthrown. Emperor Haile Selassie I
Haile Selassie I
of Ethiopia reigned for over 40 years (1930-1974) until the Derg
forced him to abdicate and abolished the 3,000 year old monarchy, making him not only the 225th Emperor of Ethiopia but the final as well. Shah
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
of Iran
reigned for more than 37 years (1941–1979) until he fled during the Iranian Revolution, which superseded the 2,500 years of monarchy with an Islamic republic system of government. The Shah
died the following year and is buried in Cairo.

See also[edit]

Interregnum Rex (title)