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Who have been the oldest kings and queens to be crowned?

The new sovereign is 73 years old and succeeds the longest-serving monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II, who died earlier this week.

King Charles III becomes the oldest UK monarch

On Saturday morning, King Charles III was proclaimed as the new sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after a meeting of the Accession Council. Charles inherits the crown from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 96.

She became Queen in 1952 and ruled for 70 years, making her the longest-serving monarch in British history. That astonishing feat meant that her son Charles also broke the record as the longest first-in-line to the throne.

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The King ascended to the throne at the age of 73, making Charles III the oldest person to become monarch in the United Kingdom. He was born at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948, four years before his mother’s incredible reign began.

Before him, the oldest monarch at the age of ascension was King William IV, who took the throne in 1830 at the age of 64. Aside from that the other oldest monarchs to ascend to the throne were King Edward VII (59 years old, in 1901); King George IV (57, in 1820); and King George I (54, in 1714).

The UK employs a system of patrilineage, by which the crown passes to the eldest son of the deceased monarch. This means that there have been many more kings than queens in British history.

The oldest queen to ascend to the throne was Queen Mary I, who took the crown in 1553 at the age of 37.

Who are the youngest UK monarchs?

In stark contrast to the seven-decade wait that Charles endured, historically some British monarchs have ascended to the throne at a very young age.

The youngest ever monarch, Mary, Queen of Scots, became queen in 1542 when she was just six days old. She was less than a week old at the time that her father, James V of Scotland, died. The kingdom was ruled by regents throughout her childhood but she went on to become a key figure in Scottish and British history, known for her tolerant approach to the contentious subject of religion.

The youngest-ever male monarch was King Henry VI, who ascended to the throne in 1422 at the age of just eight months. He was the only child of Henry V and took the throne after his father died aged just 35.

King Charles III was born was his mother was 23, explaining why he had such a long wait to become the sovereign. The largest age difference between a monarch and their successor was between George II and his grandson George III, a gap of 57 years.


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