King Charles I

King Charles I was the Machiavellian model of a perfect king in every way--minus cunning, plus stuttering problem... minus any real success at running shit, ever.

Just The Facts

  1. King Charles I believed in the Divine Right of Kings.
  2. King Charles I was beheaded in 1649.
  3. There is no Divine Right of Kings.
  4. Bitch.

Family Background

King Charles I came from a long line of do-it-yourselfers who'd looked with the appropriate awe on the beauties and glories of this world and then taken turns punching Europe-sized holes through it. For example, his great-great granduncle was Henry VIII, the king who famously coined the expression, "When wives give you girls, make religions." Then, two generations later, his grandmother assassinated his grandfather all the way to death and married her partner-in-crime. Understandably spooked, Parliament lost their heads and fired her for conduct unbecoming of a supervisor. Finding themselves in immediate need of a new monarch, they hired her one-year-old son, King James I. Yes, that's the King James who grew up to write the Bible.

Like any good leader, the adult James never needed help with anything. As you can imagine, this made things awkward whenever Parliament offered their bullshit "suggestions" to His Highness. So in 1622, when they got an attitude and invented Free Speech--to his face!--he dissolved them altogether.

How he Became King

Charles couldn't walk or talk until he was 3--and even then he stuttered like a coke-nosed prosecutor. Couple that with the immune system of a hooker who shares needles, and it's no wonder his parents didn't even bother asking why he couldn't be more like his big brother, Henry.

Henry will forever remain one of history's what-ifs. He was the heir apparent to the throne by birthright. He excelled in his studies and had the irresistible charisma of a gay circus chimp to go along. A respected admiral in the British Navy by age six, it's widely agreed upon by most modern scholars that Henry had already impregnated between 13% and 25% of the Old World's peasant women before clocking his twelfth year.

But then Henry got typhoid and died.

And Great Britain shat its collective self because that made Charles the heir apparent.


Whilst waiting for the throne, Charles did what every teenage boy does: he hunted chicks. Along the way, it seems he became smitten over the Spanish princess--and the political pull marrying her would bring England. So in 1623, hopeless romantic that he was (emphasis on hopeless), he stalked her for five months until one day when the king of Spain recognized him and shouted, "For the last time, you are not going to marry my Catholic goddamn daughter! Now take your Protestant ass back to Britland, faggot!"

Outraged, Charles stomped home and demanded that his father, who would still be king until his death two years later, send his Navy over there to give Spain the ol' cannonball to the musket balls. The senile James responded, "Ooh! How about this instead: As of about a week ago, you're engaged to the fifteen-year-old French princess." "W-WHAT?!" Charles stammered. "Yeah, her dad hates Spain, now you hate Spain too, it'll be great! Weeee!"

The funny thing is, James was right--especially if great means hating your wife so much that you actually fulfill your ace-in-the-hole threat of declaring war on her entire home country if she burns the eggs again--which is exactly what Charles did in 1627, after less than two years of marriage.



First, a Spoiler Alert

Charles really fucked shit up. And not like those wild-'n'-crazy manchildren from Step Brothers--more like a premenstrual Hitler on glue.

Ok, Now Reign

Charles became king right around the same time he got married in 1625. And for the first 12 years or so (except for the whole yearlong killing-his-wife's-countrymen thing), not a whole lot actually went THAT wrong. It wasn't until 1637, when he decided Scotland needed Jesus, that his shit really started to hit the proverbial palm frond.

King Charles I after hitting the furthest proverbial palm frond with his shit of doom.

"Holy FUCK, that one went far!"

As it turns out, killing William Wallace's descendants to teach them God's love is a really big job for one douchey king. So Parliament had to step in for the first time since 1628 because, as everyone had finally just finished forgetting, Charles could rule his kingdom into a paper bag like a champ--but not out of it again. Upon throwing their yellow flag, Parliament made him can some of his favorite religious figures and abolish the Star Chamber (a useless court he had invented). They also swore on his dad's book that they wouldn't stop flicking his ear until he promised to let them handle more of his day-to-day business and finally, to let them execute one of his favorite Earls for treason at the end of 1641.

Thoroughly embarrassed, he didn't let the new year finish steaming before he hatched an ingenious plot to salvage some of the respect and fear he had previously commanded. He gathered up the Royal Guard and barged into one of Parliament's meetings that they had "forgotten" to invite him to and screamed, "Guards! Arrest these men!" And the guards really wanted to; but the five men in particular that Charles was after--the really important ones--weren't there.

Just as the doors slammed behind a now-irate king, one member of Parliament stood up and said, "Ok, guys--you can come out from under your desks now. Thanks for the warning, Frank; that was actually kind of close. Anyway, what I was saying was, not only will we have 90% of the citizens behind us, but--and that was a perfect case-in-point--overthrowing our dumbass king will be the easiest thing ever. Like taking countries from a baby...."


The resulting English Civil War ended up taking over three years, but Charles did end up surrendering to the Oliver Cromwell-led Roundheads. He spent the next two years frequently contradicting himself while trying to make under-the-table deals with anyone who would listen for an army, some funding, hell, even a sharp rock would have helped; anything to throw at that goddamn Cromwell.

King Charles I and his son, James II after Charles begs and threatens his life for a pencil.

"Great, now how 'bout a musket, you manly-ass man's man?"

But even as he begged--and briefly fought again--his opponents were already hewing him a tombstone that read, "Here lieth Charles I, King of Epic Fail." It came down to the trial, where he sobered up and refused to even give his heathen opponents the satisfaction of a plea: "I am sworn to keep the peace, by that duty I owe to God and my country, and I will do it to the last breath of my body; and therefore ye shall do well to satisfy first God, and then the country, by [which] authority you [try me]."

The prosecutor responded, "Ok, but seriously. We're planning to literally execute you. Don't you want to like, defend yourself?" Invoking the good ol' Divine Right of Kings, Charles responded, "No. Now bow to your king."

So they beheaded the living shit out of him.