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Top 10 oldest monarchs in the world

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After the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Queen Elizabeth II is now the world’s oldest monarch, but not the longest serving

Aisha Gani@aishagani

It’s official, Queen Elizabeth II is now the oldest monarch in the world. The Queen, who turns 89 this year, gains the title after the former oldest monarch in the world, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, died on Friday aged 90.

Elizabeth will become the longest reigning British monarch on 9 September, passing the record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years, or 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes, to be precise.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, on the throne for 68 years, is the current longest reigning monarch. Top 10 oldest monarchs in the world, including heads of states within countries

1. Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II will overtake Queen Victoria as the longest reigning British monarch in September. Photograph: WPA Pool/Getty Images

Age: 88
Born: 21 April 1926
Ascended the throne: 6 February 1952
Length of reign: 62 years

2. King Abdul Halim, supreme head of state of Malaysia and Sultan of Kedah

The King of Malaysia Abdul Halim of Kedah.
King of Malaysia, Abdul Halim. Photograph: AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Age: 87 years
Born: 28 November 1927
Ascended the throne: Malaysia – 13 December 2011; Kedah – 14 July 1958
Length of reign: Malaysia – three years; Kedah – 56 years

3. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images

Age: 87 years
Born: 5 December 1927
Ascended the throne: 9 June 1946
Length of reign: 68 years

4. Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait

Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Photograph: AHMAD AL-GHAMDI/AFP/Getty Images

Age: 85 years
Born: 16 June 1929
Ascended the throne: 29 January 2006
Length of reign: eight years

5. Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang state, Malaysia

Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah. Photograph: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Age: 84 years
Born: 24 October 1930
Ascended the throne: 7 May 1974
Length of reign: 40 years

6. Emir Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi of Ajman, an emirate in the United Arab Emirates

Emir Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi.
Emir Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi. Photograph: The Guardian

Age: 84 years
Born: 1931
Ascended the throne: 6 September 1981
Length of reign: 33 years

7. Emperor Akihito of Japan

Japan's Emperor Akihito.
Emperor Akihito. Photograph: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Age: 81 years
Born: 23 December 1933
Ascended the throne: 7 January 1989
Reign: 26 years

8. Awujale Sikiru Kayode Adetona, king of Ijebuland, a state in Nigeria

Sikiru Kayode Adetona.
Sikiru Kayode Adetona. Photograph: The Guardian

Age: 80 years
Born: 10 May 1934
Ascended the throne: 4 January 1960
Length of reign: 55 years

9. King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's King Salman, successor to his brother King Abdullah.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia Photograph: REUTERS TV/REUTERS

Age: 79 years
Born: 31 December 1935
Ascended the throne: January 2015

10. King Harald V of Norway

King Harald V of Norway.
King Harald V of Norway. Photograph: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images

Age: 77 years
Born: 21 February 1937
Ascended the throne: 17 January 1991
Length of reign: 24 years

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