(Major WIP) Celestial Alliance or CA is an alternative timeline in which Charles II of England accepted the aid of the French Sun King, Louis XIV and attempted to return England to the Catholic faith.
Premise and Divergence
Charles Stuart (1630-1685) ruled England after his dynasty’s restoration in 1660 following the death of the Lord-Protector of the English Commonwealth, Oliver Cromwell. Charles’ consort Catherine of Braganza gave him no heirs, despite his multitude of illegitimate children. A crisis occurred during his reign which led to anti-Catholic sentiment to peak in England, even leading to talk in parliament of bearing Charles’ Catholic brother, James, Duke of York, his legal heir, from succession. Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’ of France, the model of absolutism offered Charles French money and troops if he converted from the Church of England to the Roman Catholic Church.
Charles, despite promising to do so, did not convert. There are reports he converted on his deathbed, and many said he favoured the Catholic faith throughout his life. Charles’ refusal to bar the future James VII & II from the throne would eventually lead to James’ deposition and the installation of William, Prince of Orange as King William III alongside James’ own daughter, Mary II.
William’s tenure as King shattered the institution of monarchy in England in terms of its powers and prerogatives, sold to parliament for money to wage conflicts in Europe against Catholic France. William’s ascension would set the stage for the modern British state, and would forever curb the power of Kings in England. It would also instill a cultural distrust of the Catholic Church, an influence which continues to affect modern law.
What if however, Charles’ deception wasn’t a reality? Charles was an intensely passionate man, and prone to great gestures of bravery on behalf of those he cared for. Could this man bring a nation to heel, when his father lost his head for it? This Alternate Timeline will explore a world in which Charles II accepted the friendship and help of Louis XIV, the Sun King, forming a celestial alliance that would shake England - and Europe.
The specific divergence takes place following the Secret Treaty of Dover which in our reality led to Charles II using Louis' money to see him until the end of his reign. The condition for the money was Charles' conversion, which he did not do, though he did support the French in a war with the Dutch. Within this timeline Charles' participation in the Dutch war, alongside tensions at home will make him accept Louis' offer to restore England to the Holy See. In 1672 the Test Act of 1672 caused Charles to dismiss many of his dearest ministers and servants due to their Catholicism and even brought into question the legitimacy of James' claim to the throne. Our timeline's specific point of divergence is 1672 and will see Charles, who had wished tolerance in his realm, slam down against the righteous zealotry of the Cavillier Parliament.
The alternate history will act as if the events are ongoing from the divergence point, so pages will change and evolve over time. Titles of pages may alter as well as certain nations may encroach upon others etc. A few liberal choices will be taken as is common in any alt history, however having studied the period to degree level I will endeavour to create a rational alternative world. Hopefully you enjoy what you see!
Note: During this time period Europe adopted the New Style Gregorian calendar and abandoned the Old Style Julian calendar. I will convey all dates as we as modern historians look back at them as it would cause confusion to revert all dates and would seem to be littered with mistakes.
Royal Figures of Europe
Charles II of England - Charles Stuart, King of England, Scotland and Ireland. (Titular of France)
Louis XIV of France - Louis Bourbon (the Sun King), King of France and Navarre. Cousin of Charles II.
James, Duke of York - James Stuart, Duke of York and Albany catholic brother and heir presumptive of Charles II.
William, Prince of Orange - William Orange-Nassau, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelre and Overjissel. Nephew of Charles II.
Carlos II of Spain - Carlos Habsburg, King of Spain, Naples & Sicily, Duke of Burgundy and Milan.
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor - Leopold Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia, Archduke of Austria.
Alfonso VI of Portugal - Alfonso Braganza, King of Portugal and the Algarves. Charles II's brother in law.
Catherine of Braganza - Catherine Braganza, Queen-Consort of Charles II of England, Princess of Portugal
Pope Clement X - Emilio Boneventura Altieri (Clement), Pope in Rome
Henrietta of England - Henrietta Stuart, Princess of England Duchess of Orlèans. Charles II's sister.
Mehmed IV Ottoman - Mehmed Osman, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Caliph of Islam.
Lady Mary of York - Mary Stuart, daughter of James, Duke of York, second in line to the English & Scottish thrones.
Lady Anne of York - Anne Stuart, daughter of James, Duke of York, third in line to the English & Scottish thrones.
Nations listed will only contain a brief background and go from the point of divergence, relevant background will be given however if you wish to know more consult the original wikipedia articles etc.
Kingdom of England - Kingdom of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Kingdom of France - Kingdom of France and Navarre.
Kingdom of Spain - Spanish Empire: Kingdom of Spain, Naples and Sicily.
Kingdom of Portugal - Kingdom of Portugal and the Algraves.
Dutch Republic - Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
Holy Roman Empire - Habsburg Imperial Holdings.
Papal States - Roman Papacy and Avignon.
Ottoman Empire - Turkish Empire of Greece, Anatolia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Wallachia Syria, Iraq, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Jerusalem, Mecca & Medina, Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, North Africa, Tunisia and Algeria. Suzerin of Hungary.
For the ongoing timeline which includes minor notes alongside major events see: Celestial Alliance Timeline
Test Act of 1672 - Act that causes Charles to resolve to carry out the Treaty of Dover's terms and convert to catholicism, though he keeps his intentions to himself.