Controversial Facts About Charles II Of England, The Vengeful King

Picture this. For the very first time, England has executed its own king. First, they arrest him for treason, and then they behead him. And he’s your father.

You go into exile for a decade, only to have your former enemies invite you back to take his place as the next monarch.

That was the dangerous situation that Charles II faced when he became King of England—and the peril and tragedy didn’t stop there. Here are scandalous facts about Charles II, the deposed king.

1. He Was Born Into Turmoil

As king, Charles I didn’t make life easy for himself—and, as an eventual result, made things terribly difficult for his son. By the time of his son’s birth in 1630, he was already on thin ice. The King had given up many of his rights in order to make nice with the pesky English Parliament—and get more of their money. Sadly, it wouldn’t be enough to prevent his dark fate.

Charles II Facts

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2. He Was The Heir With A Spare, And Then Some

Charles II wasn’t the first of his name. His parents had named their first son Charles as well, but he’d passed on shortly after birth. The people expected the King and Queen to produce another heir for the House of Stuart.

Luckily for them, Charles II came along soon afterward, and seven others followed, most of whom made it to adulthood.

His parents were quite talented at bearing heirs, it’s true. Charles II would not have the same luck—and it would have dire consequences.

Charles II Of England


3. He Had All Kinds Of Influences

With so much drama in the royal court, the King Charles I and his Queen Henrietta Maria had to enlist a bevy of courtiers and family to help with their large brood. Charles II grew up torn between these factions and their different religions—which could still very much present a problem in those days. His governess was Protestant, while his mother’s family in France were Catholic.

When it came to religion, King Charles I was a bit all over the place—and it would come back to haunt him later.

Charles II Facts

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4. The King Was In Trouble

Things had been tense after Charles II’s birth, but as he grew up, his father and Parliament reached a kind of peace. But then, it all fell apart in an instant. Many rulers in history have believed in the divine right to rule, meaning that God alone gives them the right to rule and that they do not have to answer to any earthly power. Charles I believed this, but British Parliament didn’t agree, and in 1642 it came to a head.

Charles I Facts