Charles was overshadowed by his brilliant elder brother Prince Henry, to whom he was devoted, but Henry died of typhoid when Charles was eleven years old. With Henry's death, Charles became heir to the throne of the Three Kingdoms: England, Scotland and Ireland.Share
The death of Prince Henry prompted a succession crisis. King James and Queen Anne were too old to have more children and the sickly Charles was not expected to survive to adulthood. A proposal was made that in the event of Charles' death, the succession would pass to James' daughter Princess Elizabeth and her husband the Elector Palatine Frederick V, which would mean the Wittelsbach dynasty acceding to the throne of the Three Kingdoms. However, by strength of will, Charles worked to overcome his physical weaknesses. He followed a self-imposed regimen of hard physical exercises that led to rapid improvements in his health and physique. Charles became a good horseman, excelling at tournament sports and hunting. He developed sophisticated tastes in the arts and earnestly applied himself to his religious devotions.
Created Prince of Wales in 1616, Charles was instructed by King James in every aspect of ruling a kingdom. With a profound belief that kings are appointed by God to rule by divine right, Charles succeeded as the second king of the Stuart dynasty in 1625. (Read more.)