“The Last King” premiered on A&E last night. It was
about the life and times of Charles II, King of England, and many of the family
members, friends, and enemies whose lives were intertwined with his.
It is difficult for Kristine and me to imagine watching a
movie like this without being able to enhance our enrichment by exploring the
Family Forest digital maps of the ancestral pathways leading to and from those
Who were they? Where did they come from? Who were their
descendants? What are some of those descendants doing today?
Before the movie, we checked the Family Forest to set the
stage for what we were going to be watching. Some preliminary
thoughts were shared last week. Other discoveries were found during and
after the movie.
For historical perspective, Family Forest 20-generation
ancestor charts can fill in 39,169 boxes for the wife of Charles II, Catherine
of Braganza, 135,252 boxes for the mother of Charles II, Henrietta Maria of
France, and 130,472 boxes for the father of Charles II, Charles I, King of
Sir Edward Hyde, Lord High Chancellor of England and tutor
to Charles II in exile, is lineage-linked to at least one internationally known
celebrity descendant in the Family Forest, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. In
addition to having been the wife of a Prince, she has been the spokeswoman for
Weight Watchers and a presenter at the 2004 Golden Globe Awards.
At least five more of Sarah Ferguson’s ancestors, according
to the ancestral history mapped out in the Family Forest, were portrayed in the
movie. They were Charles II, one of his mistresses and their son, and Charles’s
The sister of Charles II, Henrietta Anne, married Philip I,
Duke of Orleans, and became the ancestor of King Michael of Rumania and King
Juan Carlos of Spain. The brother of Charles II, James II, is one of the
ancestors of Princess Diana.
Searching for the titles of the nobility mentioned in the
movie also adds interesting perspective, and sets the stage for greater
understanding of the characters and the historical events.
There are probably more than ten million living descendants
from just the named characters in this movie, and probably more than one
hundred million more living descendants from the unnamed characters surrounding
Being able to visually see maps of the ancestral pathways
leading to and from the people who lived at that exciting point in history can
greatly enhance enjoyment of movies like “The Last King.”