Monday, 29 May 2017

Facts About King Charles II of England

Fun Facts About King Charles II of England

On This Day In History, May 29th 1630, King Charles II of England was born.

Ten Fun Facts About King Charles II of England

1) He was oft referred to as the Merry Monarch.

Yep, that's completely true. Maybe because of his drunken debauchery, or his fondness to porking every hooker he could find, nobody knows.

2) Charles-Not-A-Spaniel had no legitimate children.

Nope, not a one. When he died in 1685 (February 6th), the crown of England passed to his brother, James, who became King James-Is-Gonna-Screw-it-Up.

Although no legitimate children, Charles II did have at least a dozen illegitimate kiddies by seven mistresses. Bastards. Although not the cool ones from Game of Thrones.

But some of them were actual bastards. At least that's what James II called them. One son of Charles II, the Duke of Monmouth, tried to wrestle the throne from his uncle after Charles II died.

The Duke of Monmouth was defeated on July 6th 1685 at the Battle of Sedgemoor. He was then captured and executed.

Didn't stop James II being overthrown, though. In 1688, James II was de-king'd by William of Orange, or William III, during the Glorious Revolution.

3) Diana, Princess of Wales, was a descendant from two of Charles' illegitimate sons.

Yep, it's true. And you thought she was a commoner made good. Nope, she is born from Royal lineage and brought up on the Althorp estate, home of the Earl Spencer.

Real Fun Fact: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, son of Diana and Prince Charles, will become, when and if he does become, the first King of England directly descended from King Charles II.

4) King Charles II's father, Charles I of England, was executed for treason.

Dark days indeed.

King Charles I of England fought a few civil wars during his reign in the 1640s. He was defeated by the Parliamentarian Army under Oliver Cromwell, the right git, and tried and executed by way of separation of head from neck.

During the Civil War in England, Charles, despite being young, fought alongside his father. He took part in the Battle of Edgehill amongst others. In 1645 he was even made the commander of his father's forces in the West Country.

Things didn't go well for the Royalist cause and seeing they were loosing, Charles I sent his son to France where his mother was living in exile with his cousin, the 8-year-old Louis XIV of France.

After the execution of his father, Charles became King Charles II, exiled king. He wasn't actually crowned until after the monarchy was restored in 1660.

5) The anniversary of King Charles II's birthday, May 29th, which was also the anniversary of the Restoration, became a Royal Holiday known as Oak Apple Day.

This was named after the Oak tree Charles II hid in to escape the forces of Oliver Cromwell's forces.

Traditional festivities included wearing Oak Leaves and diddling a local prostitute. These traditions have since died out. But England still has a public holiday on the last Monday of May.

6) It wasn't all fun and frolicking. Charles II was also a hero of the people.

In 1666 the Great Fire of London ravaged the city destroying over 13,000 houses, 87 churches and St Paul's Cathedral.

Thousands fled the city and were left homeless. The Royal advisers insisted the King leave the city as well. However, King Charles II refused. Instead he got actively involved in fighting the fires, risking his own life.

And it wasn't just on the first day. He returned with his brother and with a bucket and spade, helped throw water on the flames, and ordered and assisted in pulling down houses and buildings to stop the flames spreading.

7) Charles II restored Christmas.

During the puritan period of the 1640s/1650s after Oliver Cromwell took control of England in 1645, because let's blame him as he was a total git, Christmas was banned in England.

The Long Parliament in June 1647 confirmed the abolition of the feasts of Christmas, Whitsun and Easter.

In the 1650s Parliament re-affirmed its position on Christmas and imposed punishments on anyone holding or attending special Christmas church services. It also ordered all shops remain open on December 25th.

When King Charles II was restored to the throne he immediately went about repealing those laws and Christmas returned to England.

Hmm, I'm starting to wonder if Oliver Cromwell was the White Witch and Charles II was Aslan, but with a better night life.

8) There was a specialist Pox Doctor on call 24 hours a day at the Palace

We've covered Charles II's very special friends above, but due to the King's party attitude and lancing of prostitutes, he often needed a little lancing of his own.

And not just the King. His friends also had some issues resulting in their nightly tickles.

In 1674, Charles, much to the surprise of everyone at court -- oh okay, no surprise at all -- became infected with a nether-region disease. Louise de Keroualle, one of many mistresses became so annoyed that he had transferred the puss-goodies to her, that she had a right go at him in front of the French ambassador.

9) King Charles II of England died February 6th 1685 at Whitehall Palace (11:45 in the morning).

Four days before he had suffered with an apoplectic fit.

At the time suspicions went around court that the King had been poisoned. His doctor was one of those accused of the crime. Modern doctors believe he died of a kidney dysfunction.

In the four days prior to him dying, Charles went through many treatments, including bloodletting, and not just the blood in his penis, which he continued to make good use of.

In fact, the night before he died, Charles had quite the night with three of his mistresses.

The Bishop of Salisbury, a close friend, was quoted as saying: "The ruin of his reign was occasioned mainly by his delivering his person to a mad range of pleasure."

10) King Charles II of England was buried at Westminster Abbey on February 14th 1685

It wasn't a proper State Funeral either. He was buried without "pomp nor ceremony."

After having to break his penis to close the lid of the coffin, they basically threw the box in the hole and sealed the tomb shut.

If you're wondering when and how the end of the world will come, it's when, in a few hundred years, they decided out of curiosity to open his tomb and a great plague, never seen before, is let loose eradicating all known life in the galaxy.

Charles, on his deathbed, spoke to his brother, the next King, James II, "be well to Portsmouth, and let not poor Nelly starve.

He was referring to a favourite hooker of his, Nell Gwyn. He went on to tell his courtiers, "I am sorry, Gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying."

Bonus Fact

King Charles II, a protestant King in a protestant country, was rumoured to have converted to Catholicism the night before he died. No one really knows if it actually happened, or was started as a rumour by someone in his court, perhaps by his brother, King James II, who was a Catholic himself.

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