After a ruler’s death, the era has always been risky for his successors since it has been a period of effective plots. Some successors were unfortunate that their reign was too short on the throne.
These men managed to do nothing in the incredibly short span of their time on the throne. Nothing is left of them in history except the ridiculous tragedy of their too-short lives. The most famous monarchs in history, who literally became caliphs for an hour, and others whose reign was too short.
List of monarchs whose reign was short
No one knows the full name of this unfortunate girl. All that is known is that she was the only daughter of Emperor Xiaoming and ruled China for a few hours. In 528, she was unlucky enough to become a puppet in her grandmother’s political games. It ended up costing Yuan her life.
Empress Dowager Hu was unwilling to part with her throne and so, upon the emperor’s death, declared that Yuan was a boy. She was only a month and a half old at the time. Hu presented a three-year-old boy to the world to prove this was true. This brazen deception was obvious to all.
The people revolted. The Empress and her children were thrown out of the palace, and the crowd drowned them in the Yellow River. All who supported her were killed. The carnage took the lives of 13,000 people. Yuan’s reign did not last five hours.
Tsar Michael II
March 15, 1917, the morning was fateful for Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov. His older brother, Russian Emperor Nicholas II, abdicated the throne the day before. Technically, Mikhail became the tsar. At that revolutionary time, Mikhail II was well aware that this was not at all a gift from fate.
He followed in the footsteps of his brother and also abdicated. The reign of the formally last Russian tsar lasted only sixteen hours. After that, Mikhail Fyodorovich wished to live an ordinary man’s quiet life. This he was not allowed to do. After his house arrest, which lasted a little more than a year, the descendant of the Russian tsars was meanly murdered by a Chekist named Gavril Myasnikov.
King Min Shin Saw
The successor to the throne of “Bagan or Pagan” (now Myanmar) married a foreign lady at one point. When his father learned about the situation, he expelled his son from the country. Min Shin Saw formed his own tiny kingdom on the outside of the state, on no man’s land. Because he proved to be a very reasonable king, the appanage principality, which had started with nothing, began to develop.
Min Shin Saw’s father died, and he came back to claim the throne. Narathu, the younger brother, was not willing to put up with such a situation. In reality, he assassinated their father for the crown, and then another successor appeared out of nowhere. Min Shin Saw experienced the same fate as a consequence. As king, he didn’t even survive to see the dawn. His rule lasted about eighteen hours, if you can call it that.
Sultan Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash Al-Busa’id
The new Sultan of Zanzibar assumed the throne on August 25, 1896. His British employers were not pleased with Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash Al-Busa’id. They urged that he surrender the kingdom as soon as possible. The Sultan declined, and the result was the world’s shortest war.
It was barely 38 minutes long. With guns, the British soldiers bombarded the palace. In flames, the Sultan and many hundred of his comrades died. Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash was only in power for two days.
Dipendra of Nepal
It was the most tragic reign in history. This happened relatively recently, only two decades ago. Dipendra was the son of the rulers of Nepal and suffered from a mental disorder since childhood. Crown Prince Dipendra quarreled with his father over his fiancée.
The parents were against this marriage. At one point, an angry young man shot his entire family and fired a bullet in his head. Contrary to expectations, he did not die immediately but was in a coma for 3 days, formally being the ruler of Nepal. From June 1 to 4, 2001, Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was the King of Nepal for three days.
King John I of France
This monarch is also called John the Posthumous. The fact is that he was born five months after the death of his father, Louis X. He became king immediately after his birth. Only to live to the point where he could realize all his power, the boy could not. He passed away before he had even lived a week.
Of course, many rumors and speculations were surrounding his death about conspiracies, tampering, and the like. Evidence for any of these theories is not known by history to this day. John’s reign lasted five days, and his uncle inherited the throne.
King Thong Lan
The ancient state of Ayutthaya was on the territory of present-day Thailand. King Borommarachathirat I fell ill and died while preparing for a military campaign. His fifteen-year-old son Thong Lan ascended the throne.
Taking advantage of the fact that the new king is too young, a friend of his late father, the military leader Ramesuan, decided to overthrow him. He broke into the palace with the army. He ordered the innocent boy to be sewn into a sack. The young king was beaten to death. His reign lasted for only seven days on the throne.
Lady Jane Gray
The shortest reign in British history belongs to this unfortunate woman. Jane was the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and great-granddaughter of Henry VII. The sixteen-year-old girl became a puppet in the political games of the nobility. The barons did not wish to see Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, who was a Catholic, as queen.
On July 6, 1553, after the death of King Edward, Lady Jane became Queen of England. The people revolted, believing it to be illegal. Lady Jane Grey, along with her husband, were executed. Queen Jane’s reign lasted nine days.
Gordian I and Gordian II
During the year 238 A.D., as many as six emperors succeeded Rome. They all ruled briefly, but the shortest reign was that of Emperors Gordian I and Gordian II. They were father and son. Gordian I was in his eighties when he ascended the throne. So he decided that his son Gordian II would rule with him. Just three weeks later, rebels murdered Gordian II. The aged father hanged himself after the news of his beloved son’s death.
Milan Obrenović II, Prince of Serbia
If most historical sources are to be believed, Milan did not even know that he had become a ruler. He had been a sickly child since childhood. His parents loved him because he was their sixth son, but the first to reach adolescence.
The young man was only 20, but already bedridden. In despair, the boy’s father, Milos, abdicated the throne so that his precious son could be king. Milan was by this time so ill that he did not have time to realize the depth of his father’s love and generosity. He died 26 days later in his mother’s arms.
Llist of monarchs whose reign was short
|Monarchs||Duration of reign|
|Empress Yuan||5 hours|
|Tsar Michael II||16 hours|
|King Min Shin Saw||18 hours|
|Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash||2 days|
|Dipendra of Nepal||3 days|
|King John I of France||5 days|
|King Thong Lan||7 days|
|Lady Jane Gray||9 days|
|Gordian II||21 days|
|Milan Obrenović II||26 days|