Charles, now the king of the United Kingdom after Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday, had several options for taking a name as the new monarch. He chose his first name, and Charles III is certainly hoping that his reign will be less turbulent than the two previous kings with that name.
Born Nov. 14, 1948, the new king’s given name is Charles Philip Arthur George. No British monarch has been named Charles since 1685, when Charles II died.
Here is a look at the first two kings named Charles.
Charles I is the only British monarch to be executed, as he was beheaded at the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London, on July 30, 1649.
Charles I became king of Great Britain upon the death of his father, King James I, in 1625, according to the Royal Family website. He was the son of James (also known as James VI of Scotland) and Anne of Denmark.
Wars and disputes dogged the king throughout his reign. There were civil wars in Scotland beginning in 1637 and in Ireland four years later. Civil wars were waged in England from 1642 to 1646 and again in 1648.
Charles also put the crown in debt, spending a lot of money to commission artists and buying a collection of paintings by Raphael and Titian.
Tensions between the king and Parliament centered around finances, made worse by the costs of wars abroad and religious turmoil at home.
A triptych portrait of King Charles I of England, the only British monarch to be executed.
Charles dismissed his fourth Parliament in March 1629 and called it back into session briefly in April 1640, a session known as the Short Parliament. It was dissolved within weeks.
The king called Parliament back into session in November 1640 for the “Long Parliament,” agreeing that the legislative body could not be dissolved without its consent.
In November 1641, tensions that began with the Irish civil war expanded when the king and Parliament disagreed over who should command an army to suppress the rebellion. Charles attempted to have five members of Parliament arrested, which led to civil war.
Charles lost the civil war that began in England in 1645 and was captured. He refused to grant demands for a constitutional monarchy, and was tried and convicted of high treason in 1649. He was beheaded with one stroke from the executioner’s ax.
After the death of Charles I, a law was passed on the day of the king’s execution forbidding the proclamation of another monarch. The office of King was formally abolished on Feb. 7, 1649.
The man who would become Charles II was 18 when his father was executed and was in exile in the Netherlands.
The Scots, horrified by the death of Charles I, proclaimed his son king and invited him to come to Scotland. He was crowned Charles II at Scone, Scotland, on Jan. 1, 1851, but defeats at the hands of the English forced Charles back into exile for nine years.
Charles II spent the next nine years in exile until he was invited back to London in 1660 and restored to his father’s throne.
His reign was marred by the Black Death plague in 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666, which led to the rebuilding of London.
King Charles II, right, presents William Penn with a charter for Pennsylvania in 1681.
The king was at war with the Dutch from 1665 and 1667.
On the positive side, Britain became a colonial power during Charles’ reign, with the country establishing trade in India and the East Indies. The British also captured New York City (then known as New Amsterdam) from the Dutch in 1664.
Although Charles had illegitimate children with several mistresses, he had none with his wife, Catherine of Braganza.
In 1677, Charles married his niece Mary to William of Orange. Although Charles had several illegitimate children, he had none with his wife, Catherine of Braganza.
Charles died of a stroke on Feb. 6, 1685.
The BBC, the Royal Family website and information from online archives were used in compiling this report.
Princess Elizabeth holds her son, Prince Charles after his christening in Buckingham Palace. With her seated to the left is Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, and right is the Prince’s Great Grandmother Queen Mary. Godparents standing from left to right; Lady Brabourne, The Duke of Edinburgh (standing proxy for Prince George of Greece), King George VI, David Bowes-Lyon, the Earl of Athlone (who stood proxy for the King of Norway) and Princess Margaret. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II pictured when she was Princess Elizabeth with her first baby Prince Charles at Christening 1948 weby queen010306 dtgu2 (Photo by mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Prince Charles waving to the crowd from the wall of Clarence House, London. Firmly held by nurse Lightbody, the Prince is seen on the vantage point from which he watched his grandparents, the King and Queen, and his mother, Princess Elizabeth, driving to Westminster for the State opening of Parliament ceremony. *Low res scan – Hi-res scan on request (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Buckingham Palace balcony. Coronation day 1953. The Queen and the Duke exchange smiles while Prince Charles and Princess Anne are absorbed with the planes roaring overhead. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Prince Charles at Cove Reception. (Photo by George Lipman/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Portrait du prince Charles de Galles. (Photo by FranÃ§ois DUCASSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 01: Great Britain, Prince Charles During A Polo Game (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Prince Charles sporting a beard at the Badminton Horse Trials, UK, 1976. (Photo by Serge Lemoine/Getty Images)
1976: Charles, Prince of Wales as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, poses beside a photograph of his Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in his cabin aboard HMS Bronington. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
CALGARY, CANADA – MARCH 1: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and Prince Andrew, Duke of York dress as cowboys on March 1, 1977 at Calgary in Canada. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Canada: Prince Charles of Wales during a visit – during a speach (Photo by Kanus/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales during his visit to the North East 19 February 1979 – The Prince signs the visitors book at Gypsies Green Stadium, South Shields (Photo by NCJ Archive/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 16: Prince Charles At The Quorn Hunt Cross Country Event With His Pet Labrador Dog Harvey. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA – OCTOBER 23: Prince Charles In Yugoslavia At The Commonwealth Cemetery In Belgrade. Prince Charles Is Wearing A Naval Commander Uniform. (day Date Not Certain. Tour Dates 23-27 Oct 1978) (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 21: Prince Charles And Camilla Parker-bowles In 1979 (exact Day Date Not Certain) (note: Special Fees Apply For Use Of This Photograph) (Photo by TIM GRAHAM/Getty Images)
Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, (1961 – 1997) on the banks of the River Dee in the grounds of Balmoral Castle, Scotland whilst on their honeymoon. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, purchased Balmoral Castle in 1846, and the small castle which stood in the 7,000 hectare wooded estate was redeveloped in the 1850s.The granite building was designed by Aberdeen architect William Smith with suggestions from Albert himself, who decided the interior decoration should represent a Highland shooting box with tartan or thistle chintzes, and walls decorated with trophies and weapons. Queen Victoria often visited the Highlands with her family, especially after Albert?s death in 1861, and Balmoral is still a popular retreat for the present royal family. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Prince Charles & Princess Diana (1961 – 1997) stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England, July 29, 1981. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
CANADA – CIRCA 1900: Royal Tours – Prince Charles and Princess Diana (Canada 1983) (Photo by Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
(L to R) The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales, 06 September. Hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Central London to watch the funeral procession. The Princess died last week in a car crash in Paris. (Photo credit should read JEFF J. MITCHELL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON – SEPTEMBER 6: The Prince of Wales with Prince William and Prince Harry outside Westminster Abbey at the funeral of Diana, The Princess of Wales on September 6, 1997. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
26 Jun 1998: Prince Charles and Prince Harry show their support during the World Cup group G game between England and Colombia at the Stade Felix Bollaert in Lens, France. England won 2-0 to qualify for the knockout phase. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport
LONDON – AUGUST 4: (FILE PHOTO) (L-R) Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles appear with The Queen Mother during celebrations to mark her 101st birthday August 4, 2001 in London. Prince William will celebrate his 21st birthday on June 21, 2003. (Photo by Sion Touhig/Getty Images)
390669 02: Britain”s Prince Philip points someone out in the crowd to Prince Charles, right, and Queen Elizabeth from the Balcony of Buckingham Palace during the "Trooping of the Colour" June 16, 2001 in London. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
403058 12: Prince Charles and his sons William (R) and Harry (L) appear at a photocall March 29, 2002 in the Swiss village of Klosters at the start of his annual sking holiday in the Swiss Alps. (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)
LONDON – APRIL 09: TRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, depart the Civil Ceremony where they were legally married, at The Guildhall, Windsor on April 9, 2005 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND – APRIL 9: Clarence House official handout photo of the Prince of Wales and his new bride Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony, April 9, 2005 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Hugo Burnand/Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, NOVEMBER 13: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait to mark his 60th birthday, photo taken on November 13, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Hugo Burnand-Pool/Getty Images)
MIDDLE WALLOP, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 21: (EMBARGOED TO 0001 SUNDAY APRIL 17) In this handout photo, dated March 21, 2011, issued by the Ministry of Defence,Prince Harry and his father, the Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, stand in front of an Apache Helicopter after Prince Charles was invited by the Army Aviation Centre in his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps (AAC) in order to fly an Apache and to meet students on the Apache Conversion Course on March 21, 2011 in Middle Wallop, England. The announcement by St James’s Palace comes a few days after the royal, a trainee Apache helicopter pilot, passed the half-decade milestone. (Photo by Richard Dawson/MoD via Getty Images) NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 29: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales leave Clarence House to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations following the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
SORELL, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 08: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales observes sheep being mustered into shearing shed yards at Leenavale Sheep Stud on November 8, 2012 in Sorell, Australia. The Royal couple are in Australia on the second leg of a Diamond Jubilee Tour taking in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
AYRSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM- MARCH 05: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, known as the Countess of Strathearn, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn, when in Scotland during a visit to Dumfries House on March 05, 2013 in Ayrshire, Scotland. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge braved the bitter cold to attend the opening of an outdoor centre in Scotland today. The couple joined the Prince of Wales at Dumfries House in Ayrshire where Charles has led a regeneration project since 2007. Hundreds of locals and 600 members of youth groups including the Girl Guides and Scouts turned out for the official opening of the Tamar Manoukin Outdoor Centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 12: Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales attends the Welsh Guards’ Remembrance Sunday service at Guards Chapel on November 12, 2017 in London, England. The Prince of Wales has been the Colonel of the Welsh Guards since 1975. (Photo by Jeff Spicer – WPA Pool /Getty Images)
SALISBURY, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 09: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales salutes the troops as he visits 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment to mark ten years as Colonel-in-Chief and forty years since becoming Colonel-in-Chief of The Cheshire Regiment at Bulford Camp on February 9, 2018 in Salisbury, England. (Photo by Peter Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 05: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales plays table tennis during a visit to Athlete’s Village on April 5, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are on a seven-day tour of Australia, visiting Queensland and the Northern Territory. (Photo by William West – Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 19: Prince Harry looks at his bride, Meghan Markle, as she arrives accompanied by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during their wedding in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WIGTOWNSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 11: The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay when in Scotland, try lawn bowls during a visit to the coastal village of Garlieston, Wigtownshire, where the port played an important role in D-Day preparations in 1944, in the testing of the Mulberry Harbours. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 11, 2019. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire (Photo by Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and other royal family members walk behind The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard, during the Ceremonial Procession during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born 10 June 1921, in Greece. He served in the British Royal Navy and fought in WWII. He married the then Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947 and was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King VI. He served as Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth II until his death on April 9 2021, months short of his 100th birthday. His funeral takes place today at Windsor Castle with only 30 guests invited due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Mark Large-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales has a go at reproofing a jacket during a visit to Royal Warrant Holder, J Barbour And Sons Ltd on November 9, 2021 in South Shields, Tyne & Wear, England. His Royal Highness is visiting the Barbour factory to celebrate the company’s Re-Waxing Centenary and to mark 100 years of sustainability. (Photo by Scott Heppell – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx of Giza, on the third day of their tour of the Middle East on November 18, 2021 in Cairo, Egypt. Charles will next head to Egypt during his four-day trip to the region. (Photo by Joe Giddens – Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles as he visits Cambridge Market on November 23, 2021 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Henry Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales arrives for the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony at Heroes Square on November 30, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados. The Prince of Wales arrived in the country ahead of its transition to a republic within the Commonwealth. This week, it formally removes Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and the current governor-general, Dame Sandra Mason, will be sworn in as president. (Photo by Jonathan Brady – Pool/Getty Images)
Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends a hedge-laying event at Highgrove Estate on December 4, 2021 near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England. (Photo by Peter Nicholls-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Admiral of the Fleet presents the Admiralty Prize to Midshipman Yazeen Al Bidah of the Saudi Arabian Navy as he presides over the Lord High Admiral’s Parade at Britannia Royal Naval College on December 16, 2021 in Dartmouth, England. (Photo by Peter Nicholls – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend a morning service on Christmas Day at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle on December 25, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ian Vogler – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales visits Chinatown on the occasion of the Lunar New Year on February 1, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Tallis – WPA Pool /Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales visits Sheppey Matters at Sheerness Healthy Living Centre and meets community groups who help and promote the health of the local community on February 2, 2022 in Sheerness, Kent, United Kingdom. Their Royal Highnesses also met a local settled migrant family. (Photo by Arthur Edwards-WPA Pool/Getty Images)