Close-up of King Charles II's shoes, from this interesting blog about socks and shoes.
You can see Catholic and absolutist tendencies. He would have supported Remain.
He was the most charming and intelligent king England had - and the funniest leader until Disraeli? And he kept his throne, unlike his father and his brother. But he was heartless and cynical. One is always too kind to charming people.
Even if he was a secret Catholic he killed many Catholics. 35 Catholics were executed for treason, nearly all of whom were innocent during the collective mania whipped up by Titus Oates under the pretence of the “Popish Plot”. The only potential victims on whose behalf Charles II intervened were the Queen and the French Ambassador. St John Plessington, a Catholic priest, was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1679.
St John Plessington was the last Catholic priest to be martyred in England but I expect that more will be in the future. It's already started on the continent.
But the King's shoes were stylish. As was he. Stephen Leacock said of him:
He possessed in an eminent degree that largeness of view, that breadth of mental vision which sees things in their true perspective. He had grasped as but few men have done the great truth that nothing really matters very much.
He was able to see that the burning questions of to-day become the forgotten trifles of yesterday, and that the eager controversy of the
present fades into the litter of the past. To few it has been given to see things as they are, to know that no opinion is altogether right, no purpose altogether laudable, and no calamity altogether deplorable. To carry in one's mind an abiding sense of the futility of human endeavour and the absurdity of human desire.
Here are some shoes of Charles II's cousin King Louis XIV of France, or Lewis XVI as Macaulay always called him.
Here are some much more restrained shoes of the same monarch.
Here are Charles II's father, Charles I's shoes.
Charles I was the only saint canonised by the Church of England. A number of churches are dedicated to him including one in Huntsville, Alabama.
And here are his father King James VI and I's shoes.
But after the English Revolution of 1688 all changed. These are the usurper William III's shoes that he wore at Parliament. The era of constitutional monarchy and what Disraeli called Dutch finance had begun. Modern England, serious, high-minded, straight-faced.
Before you know it, you are at this sad point.