29 October 2016
Longest reigns page updated
It was on time to update my Longest reigns (current monarchs) page tonight. Following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 13 October 2016, I had planned to wait for the formal proclamation of the designated heir, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, but as that has been put on hold for the time being, the website had to be updated.
There will soon be another change to the list, as the King of Malaysia (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah, the Sultan of Kedah, currently no. 22 on the list, will step down on 13 December 2016 to be succeeded by the Sultan of Kelantan, Muhammad V, b. 1969, following the election by the Conference of Rulers on 14 October 2016.
According to the Constution of Malaysia Article 32 third paragraph, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Head of State) is elected by the Conference of Rulers for a term of five years. The Conference of Rulers (Majlis Raja-raja) is formed by the nine rulers of the Malay states (nine out of 13 states) which have hereditary royal rulers). Normally the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Deputy King/Head of State) is elected as the next king, and that is what happened here, as Muhammad V (Tuanku Muhammad Faris Petra) of Kelantan has served as Deputy King since 2011. The next Deputy King will be the Sultan of Perak, Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, b. 1956.
This means that unless something happens in in Thailand before 13 December, the new King of Malaysia will enter the list as no. 29. while the monarchs of Tonga, Andorra (on of the Co-Princes, that is), The Netherlands, Qatar, Belgium, Spain and Saudi Arabia will go one place up (from 22nd to 28th).
By the way, no. 8, the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, b. 1945, is on the list as he still is the reigning Prince and head of state, even if Hereditary Prince Alois, b. 1968, has served as Regent since 15 August 2004. This might deserve a footnote on the Longest reigns website, but that can wait until December. Prince Hans-Adam II succeeded to the throne of the Principality of Liechtenstein on 13 November 1989 upon the death of his father, Prince Franz Josef II.