The Merry Monarch

The Merry Monarch, King Charles II

A Royalist supporter’s pendant circa 1680, depicting Charles II. The watercolour portrait on vellum is set to a high carat gold pendant mount and under faceted rock crystal. Charles is portrayed in a periwig, wearing the Order of the Garter. The crown on the table symbolises the fact that he is the living and reigning monarch. King Charles II was a mercurial and beguiling ruler. During his reign from 1660 -1685, he was colloquially known the ‘Merry Monarch’ as his court was one of indulgence, exuberance and pleasure. His publicly acknowledged maîtresses-en-titre, who were feted and held political sway, bore thirteen illegitimate children. Yet Queen Catherine was unable to produce an heir, so Charles was succeeded by his brother James in 1685. This pendant measures 1 inch by 1/2 an inch. A charming, naive little piece of history.


Charles II depicted in opulence by John Michael Wright