Charles I

Charles I


r 1625-1649

Famous for losing the English Civil War

The king was gallant and brave, but his wife Queen Henrietta Maria would sometimes countermand her husband’s military orders! 

Charles I at the palaces

Charles I loved art and brought the world-famous Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna to Hampton Court Palace. 

Charles I used to have tremendous rows with his wife, the French princess Henrietta Maria, at Hampton Court Palace. She thought that France was better than England and that as a French princess she was more important than as an English queen.  

He also commissioned the stupendous paintings by Peter Paul Rubens that still decorate the ceiling of the Banqueting House in what was Whitehall Palace.

It’s ironic that the Banqueting House, which was all about celebrating the Stuart dynasty, was also the place of his execution. The only English monarch ever to be executed, Charles was beheaded in public view on a scaffold erected just outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall in 1649.

With the death of Charles I, England became a Commonwealth and Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector.



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