Don’t lose your head

On this day in 1649 King Charles the first was executed for high treason. Like his father, King  James the first, Charles believed in the divine right of kings, he was above parliament and answerable only to God. This was his undoing and, amongst other things, ultimately led to his death.

Here are a few interesting facts about Charles Stuart, the only British king to be executed;

-He wasn’t the original heir to the throne, he idolised his older brother Henry but he died, probably from typhoid, when Charles was 12. Only Charles and his sister Elizabeth survived into adulthood.

-As a child he probably had rickets because he had very weak ankles and wore specially made reinforced shoes. He also had a stammer that plagued him throughout his life.

-When he married the French princess Henrietta Maria in May 1625 he waited at the door of the Notre Dame in Paris as his proxy went through with the ceremony with his bride, this was because he was not a Roman catholic. They were married in person a month later in Canterbury in an Anglican ceremony.

-They went on to have 9 children together, but 2 were stillborn.

-There were never any mistresses recorded and it was thought that Charles was faithful to Henrietta until his death.

-After his execution Oliver Cromwell allowed Charles’ head to be sewn onto his body so that his family could bury him intact.

 

Charles and Henrietta

 

 

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