Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Charles II's father King Charles I was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War. Although the Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain and Ireland in Edinburgh on 5 February 1649, the English Parliament instead passed a statute that made any such proclamation in England and Ireland unlawful. England 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 defeated Charles at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, and Charles fled to mainland Europe. 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. A political crisis that followed 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 public acclaim. After 1660, all legal documents were dated as if Charles had succeeded his father as king in 1649. Charles was born in St. James's Palace on 29 May 1630. Charles was second son and child, but their first son, who was born about a year before Charles, had died aged less than a day. England, Scotland and Ireland were Christian countries, but worship was divided between different denominations such as Catholicism, Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, and Puritanism. Charles was baptised in the Chapel Royal on 27 June by the Anglican Bishop of London and brought up in the care of the Protestant Countess of Dorset At birth, Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, along with several other associated titles. At or around his eighth birthday, he was designated Prince of Wales, though he was never formally invested with the Honours of the Principality of Wales