Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the best general of the English Civil War, had a British mother (Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen), but was raised a German prince. Having fought gallantly for the Protestant cause in the Thirty Years War, he came to England to defend his uncle, King Charles I, against the Parliamentary uprising. Through his dazzling performance as head of the Cavalier horse, he continued the royal tradition first established by King Harold (and centuries later embodied by Prince Albert): the foreign prince who, through his exertions wins the awe and respect of the locals. Despite Charles' execution, he prosecuted the Royalist cause well into the 1650s as a naval privateer and commerce raider, and, after the Restoration, became one of King Charles II's admirals. (Indeed it could be argued that his naval career was his most remarkable achievement.)George Malcolm Thompson, a former journalist, relates Rupert's story with verve - then again, Rupert's vigorous life is a story that really tells itself. A fine portrait of a great hero.
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