Image of Charles Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie

On This Day: Bonnie Prince Charlie dies in Rome

History of Italy News

Charles Edward Stuart, the royal exile, died on 31st January 1788 in Rome. The heart of Bonnie Prince Charlie remains in Frascati.

The Young Pretender to the British throne, sometimes known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, died on this day in 1788 in Rome.

Had he made it to the throne, he would have been known as King Charles III. Born and brought up in Italy, his father James was the son of the exiled Stuart King James II. The family had been given a residence by Pope Clement XI.

Charles Edward Stuart was raised a Catholic and taught to believe he was a legitimate heir to the British throne.

Bonnie Prince Charlie tries to claim British throne

In 1745, Charles sailed to Scotland hoping to gather an army to regain the throne for his family.

He defeated a Government army at the Battle of Prestonpans and marched south. He got as far as Derbyshire when the decision was made to return to Scotland. This was due to the lack of English support for their cause.

They were pursued by King George II’s son, the Duke of Cumberland, who led troops against them at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Many of Charles’s soldiers were shot and killed, while the surviving Jacobites fled.

Charles hid in the Scottish moors until he could get away by boat to France, as commemorated in the Skye Boat Song.

Bonnie Prince Charlie died in Rome at the age of 67 after suffering a stroke. He was initially buried in the cathedral in Frascati, where his brother Henry Benedict Stuart was Bishop.

When Henry died in 1807, the remains Charles Stuart were moved to the crypt of St Peter’s in Rome, where they were laid to rest with his father and brother. However, there remains a tombstone for Charles Edward Stuart. When his body was moved to St Peter’s, his heart was left in Frascati in a small urn under the floor below his monument.

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