Monday, February 6, 2012

Long May He Reign

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the accession of HM Queen Elizabeth II to her British and Commonwealth thrones. A very special and historic occasion for all those people over whom the Queen reigns to be sure. In all of British royal history only Queen Victoria has reigned longer than the current Queen and Her Majesty may break even that record before all is said and done. This date made me curious though as to how this record compares to the Princely House of Grimaldi who have reigned over Monaco far longer than the current British Royal Family has reigned over their array of countries yet whose position has often been far more precarious than that of the British Royal Family. After looking into it, I have found, not surprisingly, that no Prince of Monaco has reigned so long as the current Queen of the United Kingdom etc. However, the longest reigning so far did come pretty close. That honor goes to His Serene Highness Prince Honore III of Monaco, the longest reigning Sovereign Prince in Monegasque history. He acceeded to the Princely throne on November 7, 1733 and reigned until January 19, 1793 when he was sadly brought down by the spreading forces of the French Revolution for a reign totalling 59 years and 73 days. When looking into this subject I had expected the record would go to the great Prince Rainier III who was, for a time, the longest reigning monarch in Europe and the second longest in the world after the King of Thailand. However, Prince Rainier III was several years short of the record set by Honore III though he was one of the longest reigning princes in Monegasque history at 55 years and 332 days. And, of course, who knows, HSH Prince Albert II may yet beat them all. So long live the Prince and may he beat the record of Honore III!

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