January 30th 1649
Just opposite the Horse Guards is a building called the Banqueting house where, on a cold January day in 1649, King Charles was made to step out of the first floor window and onto a gallows. A hug crowd had gathered to witness the execution of a King who was accused of tyrannical rule and overthrowing the rights and liberties of his people.
King Charles was the first British Monarch to be put on trial for treason. The day of King Charles’ execution was so cold that he requested an extra shirt so that the crown would not thing he shivered out of fear.
Some say the executioner asked for his pardon but he declined and after his head was chopped off there was a groan from the crown and some cheering, as people dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood as a memento of the occasion.
See what happened to his nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, 12 years later on the very same day just up the road!