The fact that the English Civil War led to the execution of King Charles I in January 1649 is well known, as is the restoration of his eldest son as Charles II eleven years later. But what happened to the king’s six surviving children is far less familiar.
Casting new light on the heirs of the doomed king and his unpopular but indefatigable Catholic queen, Henrietta Maria, acclaimed historian Linda Porter brings to life their personalities, legacies, feuds and rivalries for the first time. As their calm and loving family life was shattered by war, Elizabeth and Henry were used as pawns in the parliamentary campaign against their father; Mary, the Princess Royal, was whisked away to the Netherlands as the child bride of the Prince of Orange; Henriette Anne’s redoubtable governess escaped with the king’s youngest child to France where she grew up under her mother’s thumb and eventually married the cruel and flamboyant Philippe d’Orleans. When their ‘dark and ugly’ brother Charles eventually succeeded his father to the English throne after fourteen years of wandering, he promptly enacted a vengeful punishment on those who had spurned his family, with his brother James firmly in his shadow.
A tale of love and endurance, of battles and flight, of educations disrupted, the lonely death of a young princess and the wearisome experience of exile, Royal Renegades charts the fascinating story of the children of loving parents who could not protect them from the consequences of their own failings as monarchs and the forces of upheaval sweeping England.
Out now in paperback.