Prince Charles was the King's eldest son. As a little boy, he was made Prince of Wales as a sign that he would one day be king. By the time he grew into a young man, his father was already at war with Parliament in the English Civil War. Prince Charles did not take much part in the fighting. His mother, Henrietta Maria, was French, and she took her children to France when the war broke out, to keep them safe. Prince Charles was only eighteen when he heard that his father was dead. This made him King, and he started calling himself King Charles II immediately, but Parliament was still in control of Britain and would not let him take his throne.