Famous 19th Century Emperors & Kings

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Emperors & Kings, including George VI, George V, Edward VII, Haile Selassie and Ibn Saud.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte
67
Famous As: Emperor of the French (1804-1814)
Birthdate: August 15, 1769
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio, France
Died: May 5, 1821
French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte ruled as the French emperor from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. He strengthened France’s position in Europe through the Napoleonic Wars and extended his kingdom. However, he was eventually defeated by the Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo and sent to exile. 

 2 Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II
41
Famous As: German Emperor and King of Prussia (1888-1918)
Birthdate: January 27, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 4, 1941

Wilhelm II reigned as the King of Prussia and German emperor from 1888 to 1918. He is credited with promoting scientific innovation and building a blue-water navy, which strengthened Germany’s position as a great power. However, he was also responsible for getting his country involved in World War I, which eventually brought an end to the Hohenzollern dynasty’s rule.

 3 George V

George V
33
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom (1910-36)
Birthdate: June 3, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 20, 1936

George V became the King of Great Britain and the British Dominions in 1910. During the World War I, he played an active role in supporting the troops. The rise of socialism, communism, fascism and the Indian independence movement was witnessed during his rule. His reign also saw the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons established by the Parliament.

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 4 Alexander II of Russia

Alexander II of Russia
18
Famous As: Emperor of Russia (1855-1881)
Birthdate: April 29, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 13, 1881

Alexander II of Russia was the Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1855 to 1881. He became known as Alexander the Liberator for his most significant reform, which was the Emancipation Reform of 1861. He is also credited with reorganizing the judicial system, abolishing corporal punishment, and imposing universal military service in Russia.

 5 George III of the United Kingdom

George III of the United Kingdom
16
Famous As: King of Great Britain and of Ireland (1760-1801)
Birthdate: June 4, 1738
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 29, 1820

The King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for almost six decades, George III had a reign that was longer than those of any of his predecessors. His reign was marked by a series of military conflicts. He suffered from mental illness in his later years.

 6 George VI

George VI
34
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom (1936-52)
Birthdate: December 14, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died: February 6, 1952
The last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth, King George VI was the King of the United Kingdom for fifteen years. He served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force before reluctantly inheriting the throne and becoming a symbol of courage during WWII. His determination also helped him in his struggle with stammering.

 7 Franz Joseph I of Austria

Franz Joseph I of Austria
15
Famous As: Emperor of Austria King of Hungary (1848-1916)
Birthdate: August 18, 1830
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 21, 1916

Franz Joseph I of Austria reigned as the Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. He also served as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia and monarch of other states of Austria-Hungary. During his reign, Austria-Hungary decided to wage war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which eventually resulted in the First World War.

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 8 Emperor Meiji

Emperor Meiji
11
Famous As: Emperor of Japan (1867-1912)
Birthdate: November 3, 1852
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
Died: July 30, 1912

Emperor Meiji of Japan presided over the all-round revolutionary transformation of his empire which emerged as a strong force on the global scene during his reign. His policies and actions led to Japan’s rapid growth and ended its isolation from the rest of the world. One of the noted changes during rule was the abolition of special privileges of samurais.

 9 Alexander III of Russia

Alexander III of Russia
22
Famous As: Emperor of Russia (1881-1894)
Birthdate: March 10, 1845
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: November 1, 1894
Alexander III ruled as the emperor of Russia, the king Poland, and the grand duke of Finland, from 1881 to 1894. He reversed many liberal policies that had been implemented by his father, Alexander II, earlier. He passed the “May Laws” and did not participate in any major war.

 10 Napoleon III

Napoleon III
14
Famous As: First President of France (1848-1852), Emperor of the French (1852-70)
Birthdate: April 20, 1808
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 9, 1873
Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, was the first president of France, from 1848 to 1852, and the French emperor from 1852 to 1870. He rebuilt Paris and other French cities, apart from reforming the French banks, railways, and marines. He lost the Franco-Prussian War and eventually died in exile.

 11 Alexander I of Russia

Alexander I of Russia
14
Famous As: Emperor of Russia
Birthdate: December 23, 1777
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 1, 1825

Alexander I was the emperor of Russia and the eldest son of Paul I. While he was initially a friend of Napoleon Bonaparte, he later joined hands with his opponents to defeat him. He was also part of the Congress of Vienna and later contributed to the formation of the Holy Alliance.

 12 George I of Greece

George I of Greece
11
Famous As: King of Greece (1863-1916)
Birthdate: December 24, 1845
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 18, 1913

George I of Greece reigned as the king of Greece from 1863 until his murder in 1913. During his reign of nearly 50 years, which is the longest in the history of modern Greece, George helped expand Greece's territory significantly. During his reign, Greece also became increasingly prosperous and attained a popular place on the European stage.

 13 Nicholas II

Nicholas II
27
Famous As: Emperor of Russia (1894-1917)
Birthdate: May 18, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: July 17, 1918

Nicholas II reigned as the last Emperor of All Russia from 1894 until his abdication in 1917. His reign oversaw a series of reforms in Russia. These reforms included the introduction of literacy programs, civil liberties, and methods to modernize the empire's infrastructure. However, these reforms were eventually undermined by Nicholas' love for autocratic rule.

 14 George IV of the United Kingdom

George IV of the United Kingdom
11
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1820-1830)
Birthdate: August 12, 1762
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 26, 1830

Regarded as the first gentleman of England, King George IV of the United Kingdom saw his empire consolidating its position as the global hegemon, particularly after the Napoleonic Wars. His regency during the illness of his father and then his 10-year reign were marked by royal extravagance. 

 15 Charles I of Austria

Charles I of Austria
10
Famous As: Emperor of Austria (1916-18)
Birthdate: August 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Persenbeug-Gottsdorf, Austria
Died: April 1, 1922

Charles I of Austria reigned from 1916 to 1918 as the last emperor of Austria. He was the last king of Croatia, Bohemia, Hungary, and the last monarch from the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Charles is remembered for making unsuccessful attempts to end Austria-Hungary's World War I campaign. He also tried to save the Austro-Hungarian Empire from disintegration but was unsuccessful.

 16 Rezā Shāh

Rezā Shāh
6
Famous As: Shah of Iran (1925-41)
Birthdate: March 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alasht, Iran
Died: July 26, 1944

Rezā Shāh was a military colonel who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and reigned as the Shah of Iran from December 1925 to September 1941. He was also the prime minister of Iran from October 1923 to November 1925. His tenure saw the introduction of many social, economic, and political reforms, and he is regarded as the founder of modern Iran. 

 17 Kamehameha I

Kamehameha I
13
Famous As: King of Hawaii
Birthdate: 1758 AD
Birthplace: Kohala, Hawaii
Died: May 8, 1819

 18 Maximilian I of Mexico

Maximilian I of Mexico
10
Famous As: Emperor of Mexico (1864-67)
Birthdate: July 6, 1832
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 19, 1867
Austrian archduke Maximilian I ruled as the only emperor of the Second Mexican Empire, from 1864 to 1867. He had also been the commander-in-chief of the Imperial Austrian Navy. However, after the French withdrew their support, he was executed by Mexico’s Republican forces, led by Benito Juárez.

 19 Louis-Philippe I of France

Louis-Philippe I of France
12
Famous As: King of France
Birthdate: October 6, 1773
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Domaine National du Palais-Royal, Paris, France
Died: August 26, 1850

 20 Emperor Taishō

Emperor Taishō
7
Famous As: Emperor of Japan (1912-26)
Birthdate: August 31, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japann
Died: December 25, 1926

Emperor Taishō was the 123rd Emperor of Japan. He was the son of  Emperor Meiji and Yanagihara Naruko, a concubine. As the eldest living son of the emperor, he was formally named the crown prince in 1888. Upon the death of his father in 1912, he ascended the throne. A sickly man with disabilities, he died at 47.

 21 Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor

Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
8
Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor (1792-1806)
Birthdate: February 12, 1768
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: March 2, 1835
Francis II reigned as the last Holy Roman Emperor, from 1792 to 1806, and as the Emperor of Austria (as Francis I), from 1804 to 1835. Francis II fought against Napoleonic France in the Napoleonic Wars and lost at Austerlitz. Eventually, his daughter Marie Louise was married off to Napoleon.

 22 William IV of the United Kingdom

William IV of the United Kingdom
10
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom (1830-1837)
Birthdate: August 21, 1765
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 20, 1837
William IV, the third son of George III, was the king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and that of Hanover, from 1830 to 1837. His stint in the Royal Navy earned him the nickname “Sailor King.” He introduced electoral reforms, abolished slavery, and restricted child labor.

 23 Ibn Saud

Ibn Saud
13
Famous As: King of Saudi Arabia (1932-53)
Birthdate: January 15, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Died: November 9, 1953

Ibn Saud, or King Abdulaziz, was the founder and first monarch of Saudi Arabia. He oversaw the discovery of petroleum and the subsequent oil production in his country. He annexed the kingdoms of central and northern Arabia and ruled for over 20 years. He sired countless children, including 45 sons.

 24 Christian IX of Denmark

Christian IX of Denmark
6
Famous As: King
Birthdate: April 8, 1818
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gottorf Castle, Schleswig, Germany
Died: January 29, 1906

Christian IX of Denmark was King of Denmark from 1863 to 1906, having claimed the throne following the death of King Frederick VII. During his early reign, the Danish saw defeat in the Second Schleswig War and lost several duchies. Recovering from a tumultuous start, he reigned over his nation for several years and was respected by his people.

 25 Frederick III, German Emperor

Frederick III, German Emperor
6
Famous As: German Emperor and King of Prussia (1888)
Birthdate: October 18, 1831
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 15, 1888

Frederick III, German Emperor reigned as the king of Prussia and emperor of the German Empire from 9 March 1888 until his death on 15 June 1888. Although he played key roles during the Austro-Prussian, Second Schleswig, and Franco-Prussian wars, Frederick professed hatred for warfare and was willing to make the German Empire more liberal before his untimely death.

 26 Albert I of Belgium

Albert I of Belgium
6
Famous As: King of the Belgians (1902-1934)
Birthdate: April 8, 1875
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: February 17, 1934

Albert I of Belgium ruled as King of the Belgians for over 25 years from 1909 to 1934. He played a crucial role during World War I, for which he is often referred to as the Soldier King or Knight King in Belgium. A renowned alpinist, Albert died in a mountaineering accident and his death was mourned around the world.

 27 Leopold I of Belgium

Leopold I of Belgium
6
Famous As: First King of the Belgians (1831-1865)
Birthdate: December 16, 1790
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Coburg, Germany
Died: December 10, 1865
Leopold I, the youngest son of Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was the first king of Belgium and reigned from 1831 to 1865. He fought against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. He rejected the throne of Greece. His reign is known for establishing Belgium's first railway and for its modernization.

 28 Victor Emmanuel III of Italy

Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
6
Famous As: King of Italy
Birthdate: November 11, 1869
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: December 28, 1947
Victor Emmanuel III ruled as the king of Italy from 1900 till 1946. He was also the emperor of Ethiopia and the king of the Albanians. He made Benito Mussolini the Italian prime minister after the March on Rome, but deposed him during the World War II Allied invasion.

 29 Wilhelm I

Wilhelm I
8
Famous As: King
Birthdate: March 22, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 9, 1888

 30 Constantine I

Constantine I
8
Famous As: King of Greece (1913-1917)
Birthdate: August 2, 1868
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: January 11, 1923
Constantine I reigned as the king of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and again from 1920 to 1922. He led the Greek army during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913. The National Schism was a result of his disagreement with Eleftherios Venizelos on whether Greece should join World War I.

 31 Napoleon II

Napoleon II
9
Famous As: Emperor of the French (1815)
Birthdate: March 20, 1811
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tuileries Palace, Paris
Died: July 22, 1832

Napoleon II was the son of Emperor Napoleon I and Empress Marie Louise. He was the titular Emperor of the French for a few weeks in 1815. He was just a small child when he became the disputed emperor following his father’s abdication. He died as a young man before getting the chance to serve his nation. 

 32 Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold II of Belgium
15
Famous As: King of the Belgians (1865-1909)
Birthdate: April 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 17, 1909

Leopold II of Belgium reigned over Belgium as its second king from 1865 to 1909. He also owned the Independent State of the Congo from 1885 to 1908. Congolese people were subjected to torture and murder under Leopold's administration; the term crimes against humanity was coined by George Washington Williams in 1890 to describe the atrocities of Leopold's administration.

 33 Haakon VII of Norway

Haakon VII of Norway
10
Famous As: King of Norway (1905-1957)
Birthdate: August 3, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Charlottenlund, Denmark
Died: September 21, 1957
Haakon VII of Norway was the first king of Norway following its independence in 1905 and ruled through the two World Wars. He is remembered for his valor against the Germans in World War II, when he rejected an order of abdication and went into exile to England.

 34 Charles X of France

Charles X of France
3
Famous As: King of France (1824-1830)
Birthdate: October 9, 1757
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
Died: November 6, 1836

Dauphin Louis had one of the most unpopular reigns as the king of France. Following the fall of Bastille, he became the first royal family member to go into exile. Decisions such as the imposition of the death penalty and press censorship led to the July Revolution and his abdication.

 35 Alfonso XIII of Spain

Alfonso XIII of Spain
7
Famous As: King of Spain (1886-1931)
Birthdate: May 17, 1886
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: February 28, 1941

Alfonso XIII began ruling as the king of Spain under the regency of his mother, María Cristina. His strategy of rotating governments led to 33 governments in 21 years. Known as El Africano for his support to those who wished to colonialize African countries, he eventually had to leave Spain.

 36 Pedro II of Brazil

Pedro II of Brazil
5
Famous As: Emperor of Brazil (1831-1889)
Birthdate: December 2, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died: December 5, 1891

Pedro II, son of the first Brazilian emperor, Dom Pedro I, is also remembered by his countrymen as the Magnanimous. He made Brazil prosper while other South American nations were torn apart by strife and clashes. Following his deposition, by a coup to overthrow the monarchy, he sailed to Europe.

 37 Christian X

Christian X
5
Famous As: King of Denmark (1912-1947)
Birthdate: September 26, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charlottenlund, Denmark
Died: April 20, 1947
Christian X was the first Danish royal to complete high school, although he took up military education after this, following the royal tradition. He showed his resistance to Germans when he went on horse rides regularly during the German occupation. He later became an invalid after falling from his horse.

 38 Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover

Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover
6
Famous As: King of Hanover
Birthdate: June 5, 1771
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 18, 1851

 39 Chulalongkorn

Chulalongkorn
5
Famous As: King of Siam (1868-1910)
Birthdate: September 20, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bangkok, Thailand
Died: October 23, 1910

Chulalongkorn reigned as the king of Siam from 1868 until his death in 1910. Nicknamed the Royal Buddha, Chulalongkorn's reign witnessed the modernization of Siam; several social and governmental reforms marked his reign. Since the reforms ensured Siam's survival despite Western colonialism, Chulalongkorn earned the title, the Great Beloved King.

 40 Mehmed V

Mehmed V
4
Famous As: Ottoman King
Birthdate: November 2, 1844
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Topkapi Palace Museum, İstanbul, Turkey
Died: July 3, 1918

Mehmed V was the 35th and penultimate Ottoman Sultan who reigned from 1909 to 1918. One of the sons of Sultan Abdulmejid I, he succeeded his brother Abdul Hamid II after the Young Turk revolution. His reign was marked by the loss of the empire’s many territories and witnessed the Ottoman Empire’s entry into World War I.

 41 Louis XVIII of France

Louis XVIII of France
3
Famous As: King of France (1814-1824)
Birthdate: November 17, 1755
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Versailles, France
Died: September 16, 1824

Louis XVIII of France was the king of France from 1814 to 1824, except for the duration of the “Hundred Days” in 1815.  He was the son of Louis, Dauphin of France, and his wife Maria Josepha of Saxony. He ruled for slightly less than a decade. He was not popular as a king.

 42 Menelik II

Menelik II
3
Famous As: Emperor of Ethiopia (1889-1913)
Birthdate: August 17, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Angolalla Tera
Died: December 12, 1913

Menelik II reigned as the emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to 1913 after ruling as the king of Shewa from 1866 to 1889. He is credited with transforming the Ethiopian Empire by expanding his kingdom into Wolayta, Sidama, and Kaffa kingdoms. Fascinated by modernity, Menelik II played a major role in modernizing Ethiopia.

 43 Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh
16
Famous As: Maharaja of the Sikh Empire (1801-39)
Birthdate: November 13, 1780
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gujranwala, Pakistan
Died: June 27, 1839
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, also known as the "Lion of Punjab" and the “Napoleon of the East,” was a Sikh leader who reigned over the northwest Indian subcontinent in the 19th century. He fought valiantly against the Afghans and introduced many modern reforms. His Khalsa Army included people of all religions.

 44 Nicholas I of Russia

Nicholas I of Russia
9
Famous As: Emperor of Russia (1825-1855)
Birthdate: July 6, 1796
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gattšina lossipark, Russia
Died: March 2, 1855

Nicholas I of Russia reigned as Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland from 1825 to 1855. Nicholas I is remembered for his controversial reign, under which the Russian Empire achieved great geographical expansion. He also played a key role in creating an independent Greek state and was successful in ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829.

 45 Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
5
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: January 2, 1784
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Coburg, Germany
Died: January 29, 1844

 46 Pedro I of Brazil

Pedro I of Brazil
5
Famous As: King of Portugal (1826), Emperor of Brazil (1822-31)
Birthdate: October 12, 1798
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queluz, Portugal
Died: September 24, 1834

Pedro I of Brazil was the founder of the Empire of Brazil and reigned as its emperor from 1822 to 1831. He also ruled over Portugal before abdicating the throne in favor of Dona Maria II. He is credited with spreading the liberal ideals that enabled Portugal and Brazil to move to representative forms of government from absolutist regimes.

 47 Mongkut

Mongkut
5
Famous As: King of Thailand
Birthdate: October 18, 1804
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bangkok, Thailand
Died: October 1, 1868

 48 Mahmud II

Mahmud II
3
Famous As: Sultan of Ottoman Empire
Birthdate: July 20, 1785
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: July 1, 1839

Mahmud II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 to 1839. His reign was marked by the extensive military, administrative, and fiscal reforms which he initiated. The reforms that he initiated eventually led to the formation of the modern Turkish Republic. He is also credited with rebuilding a strong naval force for the empire.

 49 Ferdinand I of Austria

Ferdinand I of Austria
4
Famous As: Emperor of Austria (1835-48)
Birthdate: April 19, 1793
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 29, 1875

Ferdinand I of Austria reigned as the Austrian emperor from 1835 until his retirement in 1848. As the emperor of Austria, Ferdinand also ruled as the king of Croatia, Hungary, and Bohemia. He also served as the king of Lombardy–Venetia and held several other lesser titles, which any emperor of Austria is entitled to hold.

 50 Edward VII

Edward VII
23
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom (from 1901 to 1910)
Birthdate: November 9, 1841
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 6, 1910

Edward VII, the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death, is said to have played a role in the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. His main interests lay in the fields of foreign affairs and naval and military matters.