The King of Bling: Charles II
"Is today my birthday? I can’t recall…Let’s have a party anyway because I love a masked ball!"
ok but like i don’t understand how charles ii’s escape from england in 1651 hasn’t been made into a big-budget film by now
- he’s defeated in battle by the man who killed his father
- with a £1,000 price on his head he has to go on the run
- he initially flees with a large group; he and a few close friends split from the large group that heads to scotland… that group is captured and they’re all beheaded
- at age 21 he’s 6’2” and has the complexion of his medici relatives, making him stand out like a sore thumb in england. so he has to cut his hair and disguise himself in old, patched, greasy clothes and take on aliases, learning how to speak with a local accent and walk like a farm laborer
- he was constantly on the move for weeks, sleeping in tiny hidden closets in the houses of various people, many of whom weren’t told his real identity
- his friends decide it’s safer for him to travel almost completely alone
- at one point he takes on the alias of a servant and travels alone with a woman (jane lane, possibly a romantic interest?
what am i talking about it’s charles ofc she was a romantic interesti mean heightened emotional situation of being fugitives and he’s a king and she’s risking her life to help him i mean this stuff just writes itself)
- anyway their horse loses a shoe so he has to keep his servant cover and take the horse to a blacksmith, with whom he makes small talk… the blacksmith is sorry “that rogue charles stuart” hasn’t been captured yet and charles basically answers “yeah man, he deserves to be beheaded, what a terrible dude”
- he spends an entire day hiding on the ground in a forest, nothing to eat or drink
- he spends another entire day up in a tree (part of it sleeping bc he was so exhausted… he was up there with one friend who was super annoyed trying to prop him up while he was sleeping) all while troops searched for him below
- he actually spends an entire day at stonehenge pretending to be a tourist
- he has numerous narrow escapes where he has to either walk inconspicuously through garrisons of troops who have been specifically tasked with finding him, or when troops show up to search a house he’s actually hiding in and have to be convinced ~this isn’t the king you’re looking for~, or where the troops miss him by mere hours
- he stays in one house in his servant disguise and is sent to the kitchens to help with dinner by the owners of that house, and is put to work turning the meat… he’s obviously bad at this and is chided by the head cook “what kind of countryman are you that you can’t operate that thing?” to which he says he comes from a family so poor they could never even afford meat so he’d never used one and she believed his story
- he stays in another house and is recognized by the butler who served in his dad’s army so he takes the butler into his confidence and the butler helps him sneak his friend into the house and then does some recon work at the docks looking for a boat for him to take to france
- he travels alone with another woman (juliana coningsby) and they pretend to be a runaway eloping couple (more ~*~romance~*~ or at least probably some making out)
- basically he has to continually convince ppl he’s not actually the fugitive king and he ends up being good at it and actually enjoying the charade
- he asks one dude to describe the king’s appearance to him and the guy says “he is at least three fingers taller than you” lololol
- he has to go to three different ports before he finds a ship that will take him safely to france (one of the ports is swarmed with soldiers when they arrive so they immediately have to turn back)
- and then he finally makes it out and lives in exile and relative poverty (considering his background) for 9 years
- and when he is restored he richly rewards all the ppl who helped him escape and he has a great depth of feeling for people from all social and economic stratas in his kingdom as can be seen throughout the rest of his reign
Reign: 1660-1685 (25 years)
Charles II marked the restoration of the monarchy after the execution of Charles I in 1649 in favour of a republic.
Charles II had to agree to certain conditions including a general pardon before he was proclaimed king. His coronation was a lavish affair and diarist Samuel Pepys wrote that Westminster Abbey was so crowded that he had to take his seat seven hours before the service.
Charles’ court was one of pleasure and he had many mistresses. During 1665 and 1666, two events were interpreted by puritans as punishment by God for these excesses.
The Bubonic Plague, then the Great Fire of London ravaged the capital in these two years. Charles made an effort to help and was seen fighting the fire and sent food and money to help the relief effort. He later promised to rebuild London from brick and stone.
Charles married the Catholic princess Catherine of Braganza, however it was agreed that their children would be raised as Protestants. Queen Catherine had several miscarriages, and there was worry that Charles’ Catholic brother James would take the throne. At his death, Charles had around 17 illegitimate children by his mistresses but no legitimate from his marriage.
On his deathbed, he secretly converted to Catholicism after suffering a stroke. Despite his indulgent ways, Charles II succeeded in stabilising the monarchy after so many troubled years.
FAVOURITE CHARACTERS - Charles II, Horrible Histories
I love the people and the people love me, so much that they restored the English monarchy. I’m part Scottish, French, Italian, a little bit Dane, but one hundred percent party animal. Champagne?
King Charles II Grants a Royal Charter to Rhode Island
8 July 1663
On 8 July 1663, King Charles II granted the royal charter for the recognition of the Rhode Island colony. The colony had been established in 1644 when several growing towns incorporated together. After the restoration of royal rule, however, the colony sought royal recognition. One of the original towns that incorporated was Providence Plantation, and its founder, Roger Williams, sought to create a town that recognized liberty of conscience and religious freedom. Because Charles II was a Catholic-sympathetic king in a heavily-Protestant England, he was happy to grant the Royal Charter of 1663, giving the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations an elected governor and legislature. The charter remained the governing charter of Rhode Island for 180 years, making it the the oldest constitutional charter in the world at the time of its retirement in 1843.
King Charles II by Wallerant Vaillant
Ahaha, no worries, I totally understand why you’d want to think about Kit Harington’s hair ;)
Charlie did wear a wig for most of his time as king, so a lot of his portraits will show him with a wig and so does just about every film and TV programme set during the Restoration period. But he didn’t actually start wearing it until the mid 1660s, when he started going grey despite only being in his 30s. Until then, he wore his own hair long, as had previously been the fashion (and it still was, for people who weren’t able to afford a giant wig).
So when you look at portraits from his time in exile, or his coronation portrait, the shoulder-length curly black hair is actually his own. You can even spot the difference with better portraits- his hair looks more ‘real’ in the earlier good ones because it is his real hair :D
A couple of examples for you- first, one of his real hair:
Aaaand a wiggy one:
Extra bonus fact: People at the time commented on how both Charles and Queen Catherine had really great hair. They’re not wrong.