Charles II

Charles II

r 1630-85

Famous for growing up in exile

He was invited to come back to England after years spent wandering round Europe to sit on his father’s throne in 1660. The country had had enough of the disruption caused by not having a king.

Charles II at Hampton Court Palace

Charles II installed one of his retired mistresses, Barbara Villiers, as Keeper and Chief Steward of the Mansion and Honour of Hampton Court Palace. He also spent his honeymoon with his official wife, Katherine of Braganza, at the palace. 

Charles II made wig-wearing fashionable in London. The most popular ones were long, dark and curly, like the King’s own natural hair.

Although he recognised no fewer than 14 illegitimate children as his own, he never had a legitimate son or daughter to inherit his kingdom. His catholic brother reigned for three years before being removed from power and replaced with protestants William III and Mary II.

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