British Monarch. Born in St James Palace, London, the eldest surviving son of Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria. Although he was styled the Prince of Wales, he was never formally invested as civil war erupted when Charles was 12 years old. He was made an honorary captain in the King's Horse Guards and was present at the battle of Edgehill in 1642. He accompanied his father the King on campaign until March 1645 when he was appointed Captain-General of Royalist forces in the West. After the fall of Bristol in September 1645, the Prince withdrew to Cornwall. His father, the king, ordered that he should escape to France to join Queen Henrietta Maria. He joined his mother near Paris in June 1646. Meanwhile, his father was imprisoned and beheaded by order of Oliver Cromwell's Puritan Parliament in January 1649. The prince made several attempts, both militarily and diplomatically, to regain his throne, but his exile continued for nine years. He was finally invited to return to England during the political turmoil after the death of Cromwell and the collapse of the Protectorate government. He was declared the rightful King of England by a newly-elected Parliament on 8 May 1660. He landed at Dover on 23 May and entered London on 29 May. His coronation at Westminster Abbey took place on 23 April 1661. He founded the Royal Mathematical Society in 1684. As king, he was notorious for fathering illegitimate children on numerous mistresses, some of whom were concurrent. At least 14 children in all, leading the Duke of Buckingham to comment that the king was "the father of his people - of a good many of them," but he never had any legitimate issue by his wife Catherine of Braganza whom he married in 1662. In his last years, he suffered from chronic gout which modern theory suggests led to kidney damage and ultimately his death at age 54. Without legitimate issue, his brother, James, would succeed him.
Bio by: Iola