It’s amazing how some people, throughout history, have become leaders of their entire country. What’s also amazing, is that some monarch’s reigns were so short you could go to sleep with one in charge and wake up with a new one in charge. Listed below are some Monarchs whose reign lasted less than a day (24 hours).
Tsar Michael II (16 Hours) (Reign: March 15, 1917 – March 16, 1917)
When Tsar Nichaolas II was finally forced to abdicate he did so on behalf of himself and his son and named Grand Duke Michael his heir. Before he knew what had happened soldiers announced the accession of Tsar Michael II. The Provisional Government quickly came calling and Michael recognized that they were in control and he was not (some arguing over whether the abdication of the Tsar was legitimate or legal). However, when the Bolsheviks seized power Michael was arrested again and on June 12, 1918 was shot in the back of the head by his communist captors; the first Romanov to be murdered by the Reds.
Emperor Modi (12 Hours) (Reign: February 9, 1234)
Crowned while under assault by Mongolians at the Siege of Caizhou and killed after the coronation.
Victoria Kamamalu (5 Hours, 45 Minutes) (Reign: November 30, 1864)
As Kuhina Nui, she effectively became head of state upon her brother Kamehameha IV’s death at 9:15 a.m. until her other brother Kamehameha V’s declaration as the actual successor at 3 p.m. the same day.
Daughter of Emporer Xiaoming of Northern Wei (Less than 5 hours) (Reign: April 1, 528)
Soon after her birth, her grandmother, the Empress Dowager Hu, falsely declared she was a boy and ordered a general pardon. Emperor Xiaoming died soon afterwards. On 1 April 528, Empress Dowager Hu installed the infant on the throne for a matter of hours before replacing her with Yuan Zhao the next day.
Prince Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angouleme “King Louis XIX” (20 minutes) (Reign: August 2, 1830)
Succeeded according to the order of succession with the abdication of his father Charles X only to abdicate in favour of his nephew, Henri V. However, since the abdication documents were signed at nearly the same time, albeit Louis contemplated his future for twenty minutes before actually signing, the question of whether Louis actually had a ‘reign’ is a philosophical one. His father had already de facto been deposed when the signings took place.