Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak did the research for who would have been king of America:

My head hurts, and it has every right to. I’ve just come up for air after trying to determine the king or queen of America. Yes, I know we have no monarchy. But for the purpose of my exercise, that’s really just a technicality.

Here’s why: George Washington, our first president, was once encouraged to become America’s first king instead. Responding to Colonel Lewis Nicola, a Frenchman who served on the American side during the Revolutionary War and suggested Washington assume the crown, Washington retorted:

Let me conjure for you, then, if you have any regard for your Country, concern for yourself or for posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind and never communicate, as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of the like nature.

In short, Washington wasn’t so keen on the idea. But for those among us who like to play historical what-ifs, this is a biggie. Who would be sitting on America’s throne today if Washington had been king?

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