Charles is the third king of that name in British history and those who preceded him do not bring back good memories. One led the country to become a republic, another tried to create an absolute monarchy.
Charles III. This is the name of the new monarch whose name was announced by the British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, outside Downing Street: “God save the King”. Elizabeth II’s son chose to be addressed by his given name, which was a very thoughtful decision. On the table was also George VII, in honor of his maternal grandfather.
According to the Telegraph, it was not an obvious choice, given the legacies of Charles I and Charles II, predecessors who faced numerous difficulties in turbulent historical periods.
The reign of Charles I (1625-1649) was marked by the beginning of the British civil war and an economic crisis. Four years after being crowned, the monarch announced that he would not convene the courts for ten years, which was equivalent to ruling absolutely. The decision caused outrage among the majority of the population, who had also never forgiven the fact that the King had married a French Catholic queen.
In an Anglican country with religious disputes, the monarch was accused of favoring Catholics, which — along with his authoritarianism — created fertile ground for conflict. In 1642, after several popular uprisings throughout the kingdom, civil war broke out. Initially, Charles I’s army emerged victorious, but five years later it was defeated—and had to flee to Scotland.
The army led by General Oliver Cromwell imposed itself on the country’s designs and the Scots, despite swearing loyalty to the monarch, handed him over to the enemy forces. Charles I was convicted of treason and was eventually executed in 1649. On the King’s death, England became a republic.
Still, the troops assigned to the monarchy did not give up and organized resistance during the historical period designated as Cromwell’s Republic (or Protectorate). The army led by Charles II – son of the previous monarch – never gave the general a truce and fought several battles, in the first years without success.
The death of Oliver Cromwell, in 1658, gave legitimacy and strength to Charles II to restore the monarchy. And so he did, having been crowned two years later. Although he managed to pacify tempers in the country, the new King followed in his father’s footsteps: he dissolved Parliament, tried to implement an absolute monarchy and showed sympathy for those who professed Catholicism. And he also married a Catholic Queen, this time a Portuguese one: Catarina de Bragança, daughter of D. João IV.
In his personal life, Charles II was known for having many mistresses, with whom he had more than ten illegitimate children. However, the King and Catherine of Bragança never left any successor. Who succeeded the monarch was his brother James II, whose reign was once again haunted by a revolt, having been the last Catholic King to rule the United Kingdom.
Source: With Agencies