There are more than 200 countries in the world, and most of them are occupied by kings or queens. Among the great kings and queens, some of them are best at ruling their kingdom. Today, we are here to discuss 10 best kings and queens in different countries throughout history.
What makes them best are their ability to rule, their way of controlling the country, and their power. These are the reasons that made people respect them and regard them as their best monarchs and rulers. You might have heard of some of these successful kings and queens before, let’s get into it.
1Augustus of Rome (63 BC – 14 AD)
Augustus Caesar improved the infrastructure and military in Rome for 41 years. During his reign, it was known as Pax Romana aka Roman Peace for the fact that the whole country was flourished.
The infrastructure was developed, the military was strong, and the taxation process was reformed. The diplomacy blossomed, and Rome was stable and peaceful during his reign.
2Cyrus II of Persia (600 – 530 BC)
Also known as Cyrus the Great by the Greeks, his kingdom was flourished with success and pride. Under his rule, the Persian Empire created the largest empire in the world back then. The empire stretched to the Middle East like Iran, Israel, and Mesopotamia.
At the same time, both human rights and military strategy were greatly improved. He ruled Persia for 30 years, and he was an extremely powerful leader during his reign.
3King Jayavarman VII of Angkor Empire (1125 – 1218)
If you ask Khmer people ‘Who were your best king?’, the answer will be King Jayavarman VII. He was the most forceful and productive king who expanded the empire to its greatest territorial. Apart from that, he also built a lot of temples in Cambodia that still stand till today as well.
He ruled the country for over 30 years, and he built 102 hospitals along with rest houses, roads, and reservoirs. He also fought the invaders to keep the empire safe and peaceful as well.
King Jayavarman VII was a great King, and his statue is in every public school in Cambodia as a memorial. As for his statue, he was a King with both arms. However, the statues of him from that era were found without arms. People want to rebuild the statue just the way it was found which is why most statues of the King are without arms. There are also statues of his with arms as well, it is just not so common in Cambodia.
4James I of England (1566 – 1625)
As a ruler of 2 kingdoms, he was known as James I of England and James VI of Scotland. During his reign, both England and Scotland were united with a great harmony in every system. Mainly literature and fine arts were flourished since the king himself enjoyed writing books and poems.
Apart from literature, trades were also the sector that increased back then as well. He even attempted to encourage peace by ending the war with Spain. He died of natural cause, and he left a lot of books and poems for the next generations to read.
5Gustav II Adolf of Sweden (1594 – 1632)
If you go back to the old days, most Kings gained their reputation via military power and control. As for Gustav, he did more than just those. During his reign, he led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years’ War. He won a lot of battles in his life, and that was how he earned the title Gustavus Adolphus the Great.
He also reformed political systems as well with the policies of supporting common people. On top of that, he also encouraged education in his country by opening schools as well which was great. He ruled Sweden for 21 years, and he died in a battle when he was shot and stabbed to death. The interesting thing is his wife kept his heart in the castle, and it still remains today in a church in Stockholm.
6Louis XIV of France (1638 – 1715)
Louis XIV aka the Sun King was one of the most significant monarchs back in the 17th and 18th centuries. There were a few reasons that made him one of the best back then including:
- Government Control: his government control was epic and unique because he built the palace at Versailles so that could hold the court there. The great thing is that he kept the nobles out of politics so that he could control his people.
- Religious Harmony: just like many other countries, religions play a great part in society and people. King Louis was a Catholic, and he wanted to convert Protestants into one religion. However, the conversion was not successful and many of the French Protestants known as Huguenots fled to England.
- Wars: Louis XIV was the King who was obsessed with wars, one of the reasons was to spread his power. He engaged in many wars during his reign, and there were many countries formed an alliance. The purpose was to prevent Louis’ army from taking territory in Europe, but still, he was successful.
Speaking of wars, he regretted some of his choices which later he advised his 5-year-old successor great-grandson not to follow him.
7Frederick II of Prussia (1712 – 1786)
Frederick II aka Frederick the Great was known as the King with Strong Military Power in Prussia. Just like what most kings did, he also tried to expand his territory as well. During his 46 years of reign, the borders of Prussia expanded to encompass West Prussia and Silesia.
Also, the infrastructure, military, and bureaucratic process of Prussia were greatly improved during his reign. He reformed the military and government, established religious tolerance, and granted a basic form of freedom of the press.
As a result, Frederick the Great became one of the best examples who left a legacy for leaders in the 20th century. He was one of the best dominant figures in history, and he died of a natural cause in his chair on 17th August in 1786.
8Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819 – 1901)
Not every country is ruled by a queen, and that is why each Queen is famous during her reign. As for Queen Victoria of the UK, there had been a lot of interesting things about her. Let’s start with her real name which in full is Alexandrina Victoria, her marriage was descended many of the Royal families of Europe.
Queen Victoria was the longest-reigning British monarch in history, in total more than 60 years. During her reign, the blossom British Empire expanded to conquer one-quarter of the earth. Back then, the British was the largest empire ever, and the United Kingdom flourished during her years of reign.
Sadly, she fell from the stairs in 1883 which remained her lame for the rest of her life. By 1900, she developed a cataract; and her last breath was on the 22nd of January in 1901.
9Meiji of Japan (1852 – 1912)
The rise of Japan began when Emperor Meiji Tenno ruled the country. He transformed Japan from a feudal country into one of the great powers of the modern world back then. Basically, he improved every factor of Japan by modernizing the army, education, and politics.
Japan was an isolated and primitive country before his reign. When he became the Emperor of Japan when he was 14, the country became one of the world’s superpower countries by the end of his reign. When the king passed away in 1912, he brought Japan:
- powerful army and navy
- highly centralized and bureaucratic government
- a constitution establishing an elected parliament
- well-developed transport and communication system
- a highly educated population free of feudal class restrictions
- an established and rapidly growing industrial sector based on the latest technology
10Chulalongkorn of Siam (1853 – 1910)
King Chulalongkorn was one of the most beloved kings in Thailand due to his achievements and power. He did a lot of things for his country including abolishing slavery, tighten diplomacy, and many reforms. He reformed a lot of sectors such as politics, government, foreign affairs, and education.
The 2 main things that developed the most during his reign were medicine and public health. He died of kidney disease and left great memories in Siam people from his efforts and rulings.