The Life and Times of Charles I and Henrietta Maria
This course will cover the background to how the Stuarts succeeded to the English throne from already being rulers of Scotland and what effect this dual role had on them and their subjects. Charles’s childhood in the shadow of his brilliant brother Henry will be looked at and how Henry’s sudden death thrust him into the centre of politics. Charles’s personal life will also be looked at including his problems in finding a wife and producing heirs as well as his religious convictions and how this affected his role as monarch. His marriage to the French princess Henrietta Maria was a diplomatic coup but her Catholicism was to cause many problems with his British subjects. Their court was one of the most cultured in Europe and his patronage of architecture and painting was the envy of other rulers. Charles’s attempts to rule without Parliament will be looked at and how this led to Civil War and the ultimate loss of his throne. Henrietta survived her husband to encourage her children to play a role in the future of Europe and the restoration of the British monarchy. She joined her son back in England and lived at the Queen’s House again after nearly 20 years absence.