Cultural depictions of Charles II of England
Charles II of England has been portrayed many times in popular culture.
- Charles appears as Arethusius in Sir Percy Herbert's lengthy novel The Princess Cloria (1653–61), which fictionalizes his early life up to the coronation in 1660. Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, a sister of Charles II, was depicted as "Cloria".
- Charles is a character in the novel The Children of the New Forest (1847) by Frederick Marryat.
- Charles appears in The Black Pearl (1982), Volume 5 of The Morland Dynasty, a series of historical novels by author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. This volume covers the Restoration period and Charles has family links to the fictional Morland family.
- The young Charles is a character in Traitor's Field by Robert Wilton (2013), following him from the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester in 1651 to his flight into exile on the continent.
- Charles appears as a central character in two plays - George Bernard Shaw's In Good King Charles's Golden Days (1939) and Jessica Swale's Nell Gwynn (played in the premiere production in 2015 by David Sturzaker).
Charles II is the hero of Georgette Heyer's historical account, published in 1938, denoted the Royal Escape, which covers the period from the defeat at Worcester to his sailing to France, from 3 September to 15 October 1651; all of it spent in hiding and journeyings. The book, with a wealth of detail and taken from actual accounts by people who helped Charles along the way, and one by the King as dictated to Pepys (who would later write on the Great Plague) is meticulously cited.
Charles has been portrayed on screen by:
- Augustus Neville in the silent film Sweet Nell of Old Drury (1911), based on the earlier play by Paul Kester
- P.G. Ebbutt in the silent films King Charles (1913) and Old St. Paul's (1914), based on novels by Harrison Ainsworth
- Owen Moore in the silent film Mistress Nell (1915)
- Harry Southard in the silent film The Adventurer (1920)
- William Luff in the silent film The Glorious Adventure (1922)
- Lewis Gilbert in the silent film Bonnie Prince Charlie (1923)
- Dwight Wiman in the silent film Peter Stuyvesant (1924)
- Randle Ayrton in the silent film Nell Gwynne (1926), based on a novel by Joseph Shearing
- Cedric Hardwicke in Nell Gwyn (1934)
- Allan Jeayes in Colonel Blood (1934), telling the story of Thomas Blood
- Vincent Price in Hudson's Bay (1941)
- Dennis Arundell in Penn of Pennsylvania (1942), telling the story of William Penn
- Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in The Exile (1947), based on a novel by Cosmo Hamilton
- George Sanders in Forever Amber (1947), based on the novel by Kathleen Winsor, and The King's Thief (1955)
- Anthony Hulme in the comedy Cardboard Cavalier (1949)
- Curt Bois in Fortunes of Captain Blood (1950), based on the novel by Rafael Sabatini
- Lester Matthews in Lorna Doone, based on the novel by R. D. Blackmore
- Gabriele Antonini in the Italian film D'Artagnan contro i tre moschettieri (1963), about the Three Musketeers
- Peter Jones in the comedy Father Came Too! (1963)
- Mark Burns in The Wicked Lady (1983)
- Simon Callow in England, My England (1995), the story of the composer Henry Purcell
- Sam Neill in Restoration (1995)
- Rupert Everett in Stage Beauty (2004)
- John Malkovich in The Libertine (2004), based on the play by Stephen Jeffreys
- Charles Dance in Michiel de Ruyter (2015)
On television, Charles has been portrayed by:
- Barry K. Barnes in the BBC TV drama Thank You, Mr. Pepys (1938)
- David Cargill in the BBC TV drama series The Children of the New Forest (1964)
- James Villiers in the BBC TV series The First Churchills (1969)
- Simon Treves in the BBC TV drama series By the Sword Divided (1983)
- Michael York in the British TV drama The Lady and the Highwayman (1989)
- Michael Maloney in the BBC TV drama series Children of the New Forest (1998)
- Rufus Sewell in the BBC TV miniseries Charles II: The Power & the Passion (2003)
- Nathaniel Parker in the BBC drama The Private Life of Samuel Pepys (2003)
- Julian Wadham in the BBC drama documentary Wren: The Man Who Built Britain (2004)
- Michael Boisvert in the American TV series Young Blades (2005)
- Richard Druitt in the British TV drama documentary True Caribbean Pirates (2006)
- Mathew Baynton and Jalaal Hartley in the British TV comedy series Horrible Histories (2009–present)
- Jeremy Northam in the British Channel 4 drama series New Worlds (2014)
- Jack Huston in the ITV four part episodes The Great Fire (2014)
- Daniel Lapaine in the French miniseries Versailles (2015)