King Charles IICharles Stuart (29 May 1630 - 6 February 1685) was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
As Prince of Wales during the English Civil War Charles jnr was placed in charge of the west of England and took part in the Battle of Edgehill in 1642. Charles' father King Charles I was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the Civil War.
Although the Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain and Ireland in Edinburgh on 6 February 1649, the English Parliament instead passed a statute that made any such proclamation in England and Ireland unlawful.
However Charles arrived in Edinburgh but Cromwell defeated Charles' forces at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, and Charles fled to mainland Europe.
England then entered the period known to history as the English Interregnum or the English Commonwealth and the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell.
Cromwell became virtual dictator of England, Scotland and Ireland. Charles spent the next nine years in exile in France, the United Provinces and the Spanish Netherlands.
The death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, and Charles was invited to return to Britain. On 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday, he was received in London to great public acclaim.
Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1681, and ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685. He converted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed.
Charles's wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no children, but Charles acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate children by various mistresses. As illegitimate children were excluded from the succession, he was succeeded by his brother James.