Could you imagine your child ruling a nation or kingdom? Throughout history, young kings, queens and other sovereigns aren’t uncommon. Frequently, a regent would rule in their stead while the child-ruler was still young.
Below are five monarchs who ascended to the throne before age 10:
Tutankhamen (Egypt), age 9 – Perhaps the best known of all of the young rulers throughout history, Tutankhamen (c. 1370-1352 B.C.) became pharaoh when he was only around 9 years old, in 1361 B.C., ruling until his death. Although a few significant events took place during his reign, including the restoration of traditional Egyptian gods, it was the discovery of his tomb in 1922 for which King Tut became most notable. The tomb is one the most well-preserved burial chambers to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings.
Mary Stuart (Scotland), age 6 days – Better known as Mary, Queen of Scots, she was born to King James V and Mary of Guise in 1542. Just six days after she was born, her father died, making her the infant queen of Scotland. Crowned the following year, she ruled from 1561 until she abdicated in 1567. Due to her bloodlines, many considered her to be the rightful Queen of England as well. Mary, Queen of Scots continues to be a popular figure in modern times, with several films and docudramas chronicling her life and death.
Louis XIV (France), age 5 – Known as the Sun King and Louis the Great, he had one of the longest reigns in European history – 72 years (1643-1715) – marked by the flourishing of literature and the arts, military victories, the opulence of his court at Versailles, his absolute-monarchist rule, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which drove Protestants from France. Born in 1638, he became king at age 5 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. He was succeeded by his grandson, Louis XV, age 5.
Puyi (China), age 2 – Puyi or P’u-i Henry (1906-1967), of the Manchu dynasty, became Emperor of China in 1908, when only 2 years old. In 1912, the Xinhai Revolution forced him to abdicate, only four years after he ascended to the throne. He is best remembered today as the Last Emperor of China.
Rukidi IV (Uganda), age 3 – More recently, in 1995 at age 3, Rukidi IV, also known as King Oyo, became the ruling monarch of the Toro kingdom. Currently age 22, he continues to oversee the Toro kingdom, which is one of four kingdoms in Uganda.
These are only a few of the “young rulers” throughout history. Considerable information on the subject is available in print and online. If you or your child would like to learn more, one source to check out is Kids Who Rule: The Remarkable Lives of Five Child Monarchs by Charis Cotter.