May 29 - 1660 - Charles II Returns to London
From 1649 to 1660, technically speaking, there was no King in England, Scotland, or Ireland. King Charles I was beheaded on the orders of his Parliament in 1649, leaving England a Republic, but Charles' son Charles II as the nominal King for anyone boosting the Royalist cause. The real authority in England was Oliver Cromwell, a Parliamentarian General and leader who would become the "Lord Protector." On his death in 1659, he passed down the title to his son Richard, who most people were unhappy with and who was dispatched by elements of the Army. Eventually, by the end of the year, George Monck, an Army General in Scotland, had taken control of England and reached out to Charles II. It was a strange choice, as Charles was living in the Spanish Netherlands with little money. Yet England seemed ready to have a King, as long as Charles would be the right kind of king. He agreed almost instantly, with the Declaration of Breda announcing his desire to return as King and the guarantee of specific rights. After that, a new Parliament called for Charles to return. With an easy procession, Charles reentered London on May 29, 1660, his thirtieth birthday.