When UK Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation after 44 days in office, she gained the dubious distinction of becoming the shortest-serving leader in British history – but many world leaders have lasted far less.
Compared to the roughly 20 minutes for France’s King Louis XIX in 1830, Truss served an eternity.
He ascended to the throne after the abdication of his father, Charles X, during the July Revolution, though he was never actually proclaimed king before stepping down mere minutes later, according to the Guardian.
Another short-timer was Luis II of Portugal, who became king on Feb. 1, 1908, when his father, Carlos I, was assassinated. But Luis was fatally wounded in the incident and died about 20 minutes after his dad.
Faring a little better on the longevity scale was Lady Jane Gray, an English noblewoman known as the “Nine Days Queen” after she claimed the throne of England, Wales, and Ireland at the tender age of 16 from July 10 to the 19th 1553.
Poor Jane, the great-granddaughter of Henry VII, was executed the following year after the country opted for Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon.
Among British prime ministers, the shortest-serving one until Truss bowed out was the Tory statesman George Canning, who served 119 days until he died of tuberculosis on Aug. 8, 1827, the news outlet reported.
Then there was Alec Douglas-Home, who lasted 363 days before being replaced by Harold Wilson.
In Nazi Germany, Joseph Goebbels technically became chancellor for one night after Adolf Hitler killed himself in 1945 – but he made a quick exit when he and his wife, Magda, poisoned their six kids before committing suicide.
In the US, President William Henry Harrison lasted just a month – dying on his 32nd day in office – after delivering an inaugural address that lasted about two hours as the ninth commander-in-chief. Harrison also became the first to die in office.
Harrison’s doctor, Thomas Miller, declared that he died of “pneumonia of the lower lobe of the right lung, complicated by congestion of the liver,” according to the New York Times.
Meanwhile, Mexican President Pedro Lascurain didn’t even make it to one hour in 1913 after a military coup led by Gen. Victoriano Huerta, who kicked the former Mexico City mayor out of office, the Guardian reported.
As far as emperors go, Michael II lasted about 18 hours in Russia after the abdication of his brother Tsar Nicholas II in March 1917. He was later thrown in prison and murdered after the revolution.