Famous Child Kings You Need To Know
When we think of the word “king,” we usually think of a grown man wearing a crown. History has created somewhat different stories over the centuries, with kings being crowned as young as four months old!
What if you were all-of-a-sudden crowned king?
Would you be scared? Excited?
Let’s look at some facts and interesting stories about some of the most famous child kings throughout history.
Maybe then you can pick which one you think you’d be most like!
Do you remember what you were doing at three years old? Most of us probably have fuzzy memories here and there, but for King Oyo of Uganda, being a toddler also meant being a king.
When he was crowned at just three years old, King Oyo hopped off the throne and ran to hide in his mother’s lap.
But, who wouldn’t have that reaction at such a young age?
Imagine a bunch of strangers performing a ceremony you didn’t understand, putting a crown on your head, and bowing to you. That sounds pretty scary to us!
King Oyo (below) still rules today, but at 24 years old, he has grown up a bit and no longer runs away from his duties.
John I of France was crowned king the day he was born. His father died a few months before, paving the way for John to become king as soon as he entered the world.
Five days after becoming king (and being born), baby John I died.
After John, the next family member in line to be king was John’s uncle, Philip.
It is believed by some that Philip poisoned John to kill him so that he could take the throne.
King Sobhuza II
The longest reigning king in history was King Sobhuza II of Swaziland.
King Sobhuza was crowned when he was four months old after his father died unexpectedly.
His uncle, who was a prince, helped rule Swaziland until King Sobhuza was old enough to do it himself.
For 82 years, which was his entire life, King Sobhuza ruled Swaziland.
Other facts about child kings
When children take the thrown, it is normal to wonder “why?”
Why would an infant or a toddler be crowned to do a grown-up’s job?
Cultural hierarchy decides who becomes king
Different places around the world have different ways of building their governments.
If a child becomes king, it is usually because of how that particular nation’s hierarchy is set up.
There is always a line of family members, behind the king, who are set to take the throne if the current one dies.
Sometimes, the next person in line is a child.
Child kings have help from adults
It is important to know that just because a king gets crowned, doesn’t mean he is ruling the nation all by himself.
After all, some of the children who are crowned couldn’t even talk when they became kings, so how could they possibly be the boss?
In most cultures, there is an advisor assigned to a child king. The advisor (an adult), helps guide the king through his youth and ultimately teaches him how to rule the nation.
Browse our history section.