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Commemoration of the Execution of King Charles II

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
Commemorating the Execution of King Charles
After Charles I was beheaded on 30 January 1649 England briefly became a republic, until his son (Charles II) was invited back as king and the monarchy was restored in 1660. Even those who supported Parliament and the king's execution were horrified by the actual event, and the date continues to be commemorated each year.

This year again, as they have done for the last 32 years, about 500 members of the King's Army of the English Civil War Society will march in his footsteps (on 27 January) in memory of 'His Majestie's Horrid Murder'. The volunteers will all be dressed as soldiers of the Royalist Army of 360 years ago.

The marchers will line up near to St James's Palace at 11.30 and continue down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, where they will pause for a Service of Remembrance, during which officers will receive awards and commissions. At midday a wreath will be laid near the site of the king's execution outside Banqueting House. The march will then resume towards Trafalgar Square, past the statue to Charles I, where a wreath will already have been laid at 10am, and continue through Admiralty Arch, back down The Mall and terminate at St James's Palace. Members of the Roundhead Association (the army of Oliver Cromwell) will also play their part in offering support. The hatchet may have been buried, but the memories live on.

Statue of Charles I
Statue of Charles I

Description of the Statue to Charles I
Description of the Statue to Charles I

Wreaths at the Statue of Charles I
Wreaths at the Statue of Charles I laid in 2012

Banqueting House
Banqueting House

This is such an important phase of England's history that it would be a shame not to watch the event, whether you are a Royalist or a Republican.

Cromwell's Statue
Cromwell's Statue Outside the Houses of Parliament
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Why? To pay your last respects to an executed king
When: 27 January between 11.30 and 1.30
Where: A circular route from The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Banqueting House, Trafalgar Square and back to St James's Palace
Cost: Free
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