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On January 30, 1649 King Charles I of England, Scotland, France and Ireland was beheaded at the end of the English Civil War. In normal times when the monarchy was extant The Prince of Wales would automatically be King. “The King is Dead, Long Live the King.” To monarchists HRH The Prince of Wales did become HM The King (Charles II of England, Scotland, France and Ireland ) on that fateful and dreadful day. Just before and after the execution of King Charles I on 30 January 1649, the Rump Parliament passed a number of acts of Parliament creating the legal basis for the republic. With the Monarchy officially abolished Charles II was king in name only. Here is the succession to the crown at the moment Charles II became king.

Charles II King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland

1. HRH Prince James, Duke of York
2. HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
3. HRH Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
4. HRH Princess Elizabeth
5. HRH Princess Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans
6. HM Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, Electress Palatine of the Rhine
7. HSH Prince Charles Louis, Elector Palatine
8. HSH Prince Rupert of the Rhine of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland
9. HSH Prince Maurice of the Palatinate
10. HSH Prince Edward, Count Palatine of Simmern
11. HSH Princess Luise Marie of the Palatinate
12. HSH Princess Anne of the Palatinate
13. HSH Prince Philip Frederick of the Palatinate
14. HSH Princess Elisabeth of the Palatinate
15. HSH Princess Louise Hollandine of the Palatinate
16. HSH Princess Henriette Marie of the Palatinate
17. HSH Princess Sophia of the Palatinate

The first five in line to the throne are all of the new king’s siblings. Number 6, is HM Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, Electress Palatine of the Rhine and she was the aunt of King Charles II and the only surviving sibling of King Charles I. Number 7-17 are her descendants and are members of the German royal House of Wittelsbach. Members of this illustrious family reigned as Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria (1180-1918), Counts Palatine of the Rhine (1214-1803 and 1816-1918), Margraves of Brandenburg (1323-1373), Counts of Holland, Hainaut and Zeeland (1345-1432), Elector-Archbishops of Cologne (1583-1761), Dukes of Jülich and Berg (1614-1794/1806), Kings of Sweden (1441-1448 and 1654-1720) and Dukes of Bremen-Verden (1654-1719). This noble dynasty even produced two Holy Roman Emperors, Louis IV (1314–1347) and Charles VII (1742–1745),

Incidentally, number 17, was HSH Princess Sophia of the Palatinate. She was the daughter of Friedrich V, King of Bohemia, Elector Palatine, and HRH Princess Elizabeth Stuart of England and born in 1630. Sophia married Ernst-August of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1658. Sophia, Ernst-August became Elector of Hanover in 1692. His wife, Sophia, the Electress of Hanover became heiress presumptive to crowns of the Kingdom of England, Scotland and the Kingdom of Ireland under the Act of Settlement 1701. After the Act of Union, 1707 unified the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, she became heiress to the throne of Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1701 she was bumped up to first in line after Princess Anne (later Queen Anne). (more on this next week).

On April 4, 1660, Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda, in which he made several promises in relation to the reclamation of the crown of England. General Monck organized the Convention Parliament, which met for the first time on April 25. On May 8, 1660 the Convention Parliament proclaimed that King Charles II had been the lawful monarch since the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649. Charles II entered London on May 29, his 30th birthday. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on April 23, 1661.

Here is the succession to the throne May of 1660 on the Restoration of King Charles II.

1. HRH Prince James, The Duke of York
2. HRH Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
3. HRH Prince Willem III of Orange
4. HRH Princess Elizabeth
5. HRH Princess Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans
6. HM Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, Electress Palatine of the Rhine
7. HSH Prince Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
8. HSH Prince Charles II, Elector Palatine
9. HSH Princess Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine
10. HSH Prince Rupert of the Rhine of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland

Not too much has changed in the 11 years of exile. Neither Charles II nor his brother, Prince James, The Duke of York, sired an legitimate issue. The future James II-VII of England and Scotland would remain the heir to the throne through the reign of his brother who, despite marrying Catherine of Braganza of Portugal in 1661, would not have any legitimate children. The children of Prince James, The Duke of York; the future Queen Mary II and Queen Anne would not be born until 1662 and 1665 respectively. However, the future King William III of England and Scotland was 3rd in line to the throne in 1660 behind his mother, HRH Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, who would died on Christmas Eve 1660, the year of her brother’s restoration.

After his mother’s death the future William III was dumped up to second-in-line to the throne until the birth of his cousins would bump him down the line. Incidentally in 1688 when James II-VII was deposed the first five in-line to the throne were:

1. HRH The Prince of Wales. (Prince James Francis Edward)
2. HRH Princess Mary, the Princess of Orange
3. HRH Princess Anne, Duchess of Cumberland
4. HH Prince Willem III, The Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands.

After James II-VII was deposed due to the invasion of England by his son-in-law, William III, his eldest son, Prince James, the Prince of Wales, was deemed ineligible for the throne due to being Catholic. This left HRH Princess Mary, the Princess of Orange as heir to the throne. However, many in Parliament wanted William to be king. William summoned a Convention Parliament in England, which met on January 22, 1689 to discuss the appropriate course of action following James’s flight. William felt insecure about his position; his wife ranked first in the line of succession to the throne, and was merely third in-line to the throne and he wished to reign as King in his own right, rather than as a mere consort. A majority of Tory Lords proposed to acclaim Mary as sole rule.

This angered William who threatened to leave the country immediately. Mary remained loyal to her husband and refused the crown unless her husband could rule by her side. A compromise was reached and as joint sovereigns the crown was offered to both William III and Mary II. Parliament stipulated the sole and full exercise of the regal power be only in and executed by the said Prince of Orange in the names of the said Prince and Princess during their joint lives”. William III and Mary II were crowned together at Westminster Abbey on April 11, 1689 by the Bishop of London, Henry Compton.

When Queen Mary II died of smallpox in 1694, King William III continued to reign alone. Princess Anne became his heir apparent, since any children he might have by another wife were assigned to a lower place in the line of succession, and the two reconciled any animosity between them.

A couple of interesting titbits before I close. In May of 1660 Princess Elisabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine, was 9th in line to the English and Scottish thrones. She was the eldest daughter of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine of the Simmern branch of the House of Wittelsbach, and Landgravine Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel. In her youth Princess Elisabeth Charlotte lived with her aunt, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, mother the future King George I of Great Britain, and she had purportedly desired to marry her cousin, Willem III of Orange, who would later become King William III of England and Scotland.

Although the very pretty Wittelsbach princess did not marry William III of Orange, she did make a beneficial marriage with English connections. On November 16, 1671, Princess Elisabeth Charlotte married HRH Prince Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, the brother of the King Louis XIV of France. The recently widowed Duke of Orléans was formerly married to her father’s first cousin (and his own first cousin), Princess Henrietta Anne of England, 5th in line to the English and Scottish thrones in May of 1660!

Prince James, the Prince of Wales who was bypassed in 1689 for the crown, proclaimed himself King James III-VIII of England and Scotland on the death of his father, King James II-VII of England and Scotland, in 1701. This began a long series of claims to the throne by the heirs of the House of Stuart and began a political movement known as the Jacobites. When the last Stuart male heir, Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York (King Henry IX of England and Scotland to his supporters) died in 1807, the Stuart claim would wind through other European royal houses to where it rests today on the shoulders of Duke Franz of Bavaria, a scion of the noble house of Wittelsbach whose family occupied many places in the succession to the English and Scottish crowns during the time of the Stuarts.

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