King Charles III: when did King Charles I and II reign in the UK - and how long were they on the throne for?
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The death of Queen Elizabeth II means that for the first time since 1952, the United Kingdom will have a new monarch.
The reign of King Charles III has begun and, as the name suggests, he is the third monarch to be known as Charles in the history of the crown.
Both of King Charles III’s namesakes had turbulent reigns as monarch, reigning through civil wars, outbreaks of plague, and the worst fire the city of London has ever seen.
Here’s how King Charles I and II fared during their time on the throne.
Who was Charles I?
Charles I was born in Fife, Scotland on 19 November 1600 and became King in 1625, but his reign was marred with discontent.
This tension resulted in three civil wars taking place during his reign.
The first of these wars was with Scotland in 1637, Ireland in 1641, and then within England from 1642-46 and then in 1648.
It was during the first civil war in England that Charles I handed himself over to the Scots, believing his actions to be a way of pitting monarchists and parliamentarians against each other.
When Cromwell’s forces were victorious in the second civil war, they put the King on trial for treason, believing that permanent peace was impossible with King Charles I still alive.
King Charles I was sentenced to death on 27 January 1649 and three days later, outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall, he was beheaded.
According to the official history page of the Royal Family, Charles I was: “reserved (he had a residual stammer), self-righteous and had a high concept of royal authority, believing in the divine right of kings. He was a good linguist and a sensitive man of refined tastes.”
King Charles II
Following 11 years of Parliamentary rule, the eldest son of Charles I was crowned King.
King Charles II was crowned in 1660 following nine years of exile in Scotland.
His reign oversaw the great Plague which ripped through the country, killing almost all in its path in 1665.
The plague was only successfully stopped by the Great Fire of London, which tore through the capital and destroyed many buildings in the city.
Charles II was on the throne for both of these historical events, and his turbulent reign carried on until the very end.
The final phase of Charles II’s reign was taken up mainly with attempts to settle religious dissension.
The king had no legitimate children, and he was well aware that the Scots viewed with alarm the prospect of his Roman Catholic brother James succeeding him.
Charles died after a stroke in 1685 with the problem still unresolved.