Adrian Tinniswood

Charlie’s Angels

Royal Renegades: The Children of Charles I and the English Civil Wars

By Linda Porter

Macmillan 432pp £20 order from our bookshop

Seventeenth-century royals weren’t blessed with big families. Elizabeth I had neither husband nor offspring – unless we believe the stories that she was secretly married to Robert Dudley or the Earl of Oxford and gave birth to Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Essex, or William Shakespeare. James I and Anne of Denmark had eight children, but only two – Charles I and Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Winter Queen – survived their father. Charles II had no legitimate children, although he fathered an awful lot of bastards. His brother James II had eight with Anne Hyde and another twelve with Mary of Modena, but sixteen of them were stillborn or died in infancy. The three children born to Dismal Jimmy’s daughter Mary II and her husband, William of Orange, were all stillborn. 

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