Who Was heir to the Most Kings of One Country in History?

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,774
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#1
I am asking for nominations for the person who was or is the heir to the most kings of the same realm or state in history.

Some rules:

To count as a king the ruler or reigning person must have been "not prince, not duke, but king." They must have used a title which is normally and usually translated into a title which means king, or normally translated into a title which is normally translated into king. So their title could be the English king, the German konig, the Irish ri, the Latin rex, the Slavic tsar (when meaning king and not emperor), the Greek baslileus (when meaning king and not emperor), the Iranian shah, the Indian rajah, the Chinese wang, the Japanese o, etc. etc.

So the titles of the rulers that a person is nominated to be the heir of should be higher than that of counts, or landgraves, or margraves, or princes, or dukes, or grand dukes, or any such titles. It must be a royal title.

And the titles of the rulers must be low enough to be included as kings. They can't be high kings, or great kings, or kings of kings, or kings of kings of kings of kings, or Caliphs, or emperors, or use any titles higher than that of king.

Another rule is that the heir has to be the heir of all the kings listed, not the descendant. Most members of modern European royalty, and countless members of European nobility, and many commoners, can trace their ancestry to tens and in some cases hundreds of past European kings. So the person nominated as the heir to the most kings should be the heir of those kings according to some common inheritance rule. And possibly the person you nominate should listed as the heir of one number of kings according to one inheritance rule, and another number of kings according to another inheritance rule.

Another definition is the person nominated as the heir has to be the genealogical heir according to a commonly used inheritance rule, not the political us successor to the previous kings. Otherwise the latest monarch of a long lasting monarchy could be counted as the heir of all the previous monarchs even if he usurped the throne and had no claim to it like William the conqueror of England, for example. In another example, obviously the present Queen Margrethe II can be considered the political heir of all the previous Danish kings and queen since Gorm the Old and the more legendary and less historical kings before him. But genealogically she is clearly the heir of his father, because when it was probable that her father would not have a son, the Danish parliament changed the succession law to make daughters eligible to inherit the throne. Queen Margrethe's cousins who would have been the heirs under the old succession law could claim they are the rightful heirs of her grandfather. Leaving that aside, Queen Margrethe's father was clearly the rightful genealogical heir of the kings back to King Christian IX who became king in 1863.

And another rule is the person nominated has to be counted as the heir to the kings of only one kingdom, even though he could have claims to be the heir of kings of several different kingdoms. That will make it much simpler to count how many kings a person is the genealogical heir to. So nominate someone using the country that he was the heir of the greatest number of kings of.

As an example of a claim to be the genealogical heir of many kings, King Fredrick VI of Denmark (1738-1839) was the genealogical heir of 10 previous Danish kings.

King Fredrick VI of Denmark (1768-1839) was the son of King Christian VII (1749-1808) who was the son of King Fredrick V (1723-1766) who was the son of King Christian VI (1699-1746) who was the son of King Frederick IV (1671-1730) who was the son of King Christian V (1646-1699) who was the son of King Fredrick III (1609-1670) who was the son of King Christian IV (1577-1648) who was the son of King Frederick II (1534-1588) who was the son of King Christian III (1503-1599) who was the son of King Frederick I (1471-1533) who deposed his nephew King Christian II (1481-1559) and was not his genealogical heir.

King Frederick VI of Denmark died without any surviving legitimate sons. According to many succession rules, his legitimate daughters Caroline (1793-1881) and Vilhelmine Marie (1808-1891) would be his heirs and could claim to be the heirs of 11 Danish Kings. At that time the Danish succession law restricted succession to the male line only, so King Frederick VI of Denmark was succeeded by his first cousin King Christian VIII (1786-1848), who was the father of the childless King Frederick VII (1808-1863). Thus King Frederick VII could claim to be the genealogical heir of 12 Danish kings reigning for 325 years from 1523 to 1848 according to the Danish succession laws then in place.

So it appears that the record to beat is being the genealogical heir of 12 kings of a country.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,004
Canary Islands-Spain
#2
The House of Braganza of Portugal beats that, with 16 heirs to Joao IV (1640-1656), between 1640 and 1910. The line can go even farther behind, into the Avis and Burgundy houses of Portugal
 
Apr 2018
259
Italy
#3
Between Hugo Capet and Charles IV there are 12 generations of kings

Between Ardashir I and Yazdegert III 16 generations

Probabily the record would be of the Ottomans. Perhaps only Japan can rival Ottomans.
 
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MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,774
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#5
To make a long story short, Henry, Count of Chambord (1820-1883) was the heir general of 21 or 22 kings of France, as well as the heir by agnatic (male only) primogeniture of a larger group that included those 21 or 22 kings and totaled 36 or 37 kings of France.

So the record to beat for being the heir by male preference primogeniture seems to be 21 or 22 kings.

The record to beat for being the the heir by agnatic primogeniture seems to be 36 or 37 kings.

Between Hugo Capet and Charles IV there are 12 generations of kings
Yes, the early Capetians were kings. So they fit in this question.

According to the French Monarchs Family Tree French monarchs family tree - Wikipedia - French monarchs family tree (simple) - Wikipedia Joan II, Queen of Navarre, was the heir general, or heir by male-preference primogeniture, or heir by cognatic primogeniture, of her half brother King Jean I of France (b. & d. 1316) and of their father King Louis X, and of many generations of kings who succeeded from father to son.

Joan II, Queen of Navarre, was the heir general of 1. King Jean/John I of France & Navarre, 2. King Louis X of France & Navarre, 3. King Philip IV of France & Navarre, 4. King Philip III of France, 5 King Louis IX of France, 6. King Louis VIII of France, 7. King Philip II of France, 7. King Louis VII of France, 8. King Louis VI of France, 9. King Philip I of France, 10. King Henry I of France, 11. King Robert II of France, 12. King Hugh Capet of France.

King Hugh Capet was the oldest son of Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks & Count of Paris, who was the only son of King Robert I of France, thus making Queen Joan II of Navarre the heir general of 13 kings of France. King Robert I was the younger brother of King Odo of France, who had no undisputed children, so Queen Joan II of Navarre was probably also the heir general of Odo and thus of 14 kings of France.

When King John I died in 1316 his half sister Joan was not considered his heir. After so many succession from father to son, there was no obvious rule to chose the heir of king who died with a son. It was decided that the French throne could only pass through and to males (agnatic primogeniture), and the next oldest brother of Louis X became King Philip V of France and Navarre, who could claim to be the heir by agnatic prmogeniture of 13 or 14 kings of France. And the throne of France passed by agnatic (male only) primogeniture down to the French Revolution. Henry, Count of Chambord (1820-1883) was the royalist claimant for most of his life, and the heir by agnatic primogeniture of every previous Capetian monarch except for Louis Philippe (reigned 1830-1848).

So Queen Joan II of Navarre was the heir general of 13 or 14 French monarchs, and Henry, Count of Chambord was the heir by agnatic primogeniture of 36 or 37 french monarchs. Since his ancestor King Henry IV of France was also the heir of Queen Joan II of Navarre, Henry Count of Chambord was the heir general of 21 or 22 French kings as well as being the agnatic heir of 36 or 37 French Kings.

When Henry Count of Chambord died without children the descendants of his sister became the heirs general to 21 or 22 kngs of France, while the Spanish Bourbons and the Orleans Bourbons disputed the claim to be the agnatic heirs of 36 or 37 French Kings

Between Ardashir I and Yazdegert III 16 generations
I think that you didn't read every part of my original post. I specifically requested that answers be limited to kings, with no lower or higher rulers included in this post.

The title of the Sassanid rulers was King of Kings of Iran and of Non Iran. Thus they would normally go in a question about kings of kings. However, the Iranian Kings of kings of the Achaemenid Ddynasty, and to a lesser degree the Arsacid and Sassanid dynasties, and to an even lesser degree the Safavid, Afsharid, Qajar, and Pahlavi dynasties, can be considered to be emperors, unlike most rulers who used the title of king of kings. So Yazidergd III or some other Sassanian heir could be a candidate in a thread about who was the heir to the most emperors.

the record would be of the Ottomans. Perhaps only Japan can rival Ottomans.
Actually the Ottoman rulers should probably go in a thread about who was the heir to most emperors, since their titles were a lot higher than king, titles like Sultan of Sultans, khan of Khans, Caliph, and Padishah.

List of Ottoman titles and appellations - Wikipedia

Thus the Ottoman padishahs should go in a thread about emperors, not a thread about kings.

The Japanese throne was all in one family. The few female monarchs were either unmarried or married to men who were part of the imperial dynasty. Thus the throne never passed out of the House of Yamato to another dynasty in historic times. And when a monarch died or abdicated the succession often passed to his brother, uncle, nephew, first cousin, or more distant relative, even if he had living daughters or even living sons. The present tenno, Akihito, is officially the 125th, counting mythological and semi historical rulers, but the 29th ruler, Kinmei (reigned c. 539-571), is often considered to be the first fully historical one. In the semi legendary era Keitai (r.507-531), the father of Kinmei, was reportedly the agnatic 4th cousin of the previous ruler Buretsu (r. 498-506), but was possibly an unrelated usurper.

So the present tenno, Akihito, is the political heir of 97 fully historical monarchs starting with Kinmei, and cannot be the genealogical heir of more than 97 fully historical monarchs. And the succession often passed between difference branches of the dynasty, so that there should certainly be competing rival claims to be the heirs of many of the historical monarchs. After the Japanese defeat in WWII a number of persons claimed to be the rightful monarchs of Japan as heirs of the monarchs of the Southern Court from 1332-1392, being descended from a different son of Go-Sago (1220-1272) than Hirohito was.

So one would have to study each and every single tenno that Akihito is not descended in the male line from in order to find out if he had surviving sons and daughters i
 
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MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,774
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#7
What about some other long lasting dynasties as Cholas who were ruling for over 1500 years?
Well, if I find a genealogy of the Cholas or other long lasting southern Indian dynasties I may try to figure that out. but in the meantime I suspect that the Cholas were more like the Quraysh of Mecca, a clan which included many separate, partially chronologically overlapping, and competing dynasties like the Omayyads, Abbassids, Fatamids, etc. etc. than a single dynasty.
 
Jun 2013
175
ca
#9
there is a gap of 5-600 years in the chola lineage that will probably never be filled. as for niall, he may or may not be real.

these would disqualify both
 
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#10
Well, the french kings from 987 to 1792 was an unbroken line of inheritors from the capetian dynasty according to the Salic Law (althought some where rather distant like the whole quaffaffle about the hundred years war, some families did change their names or were named different to differentiate them (such as the Valois, Anjoy and Bourbon family). I think it's like 29 kings if you don't include those that died in childhood, 32 including them (Louis XVII, Jean I, Francis II) or 31 if you don't include Louis XVII (the next monarch did indeed recognise him, so there is some debate here.

Also, what exactly is a dynasty in this context? We can define it as either a proper family with the same surname/name or descendant from the same person/founder?

If we're talking about emperors, I think Japan takes the cake on that one with some 115 emperors or something...?