Thursday, 20 December 2007
Long to reign over us.
A little piece of history was made today when the Queen Elizabeth II overtook Queen Victoria to become the oldest British Monarch.
At 1700 GMT, the Queen beat the record, which was calculated after taking into account the times of their births and Victoria's death.
Her great-great grandmother, who was born on 24 May 1819, lived for 81 years, seven months and 29 days.
The Queen will celebrate 60 years on the throne in 2012, and (will hopefully) break Queen Victoria's record as the longest-reigning British monarch on 9 September 2015.
However it is unlikely that even Her Majesty will be able to break the record of the longest reign of any Monarch in History.
This accolade goes to Pepi II who reputedly lived for 103 years and was the last Pharaoh of the VIth Dynasty and the ‘Old Kingdom’ ruling for a supposed 94 years.
The length of Pepi’s reign (a long minority and an even longer dotage) is thought to be one of the contributory factors to the collapse of the ‘Old Kingdom’. The reduction of centralised power allowing the local nobility (the Nomarchs) to assert their primacy in their own regions. This VII Dynasty is also referred to in texts as ’70 Kings for 70 Days’ giving a sense of the chaos during this first intermediate period.
Although questioned by some Egyptologists this reign of 94 years is pretty impressive.
Mind you those were the days when kings didn’t merely have their right to rule by divine right, or even by constitutional arrangement, they were Gods (well in the Old Kingdom anyway).
Anyway back to the present, here’s hoping that QEII can at least give Pepi a bit of a run for his money.