WATCH: Why King Charles I caught a Wightlink ferry across the Solent this morning
DJ Daniel Williams swapped decks today as he sailed from Portsmouth to Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight – dressed as King Charles I.
The 40-year-old, from Birmingham, made the Wightlink trip as part of a year-long recreation of the monarch’s life voyage.
He spent the afternoon exploring Carisbrooke Castle – where the king was imprisoned for 14 months ahead of his execution for treason in 1649 – before visiting nearby pub The Castle Inn.
The project, said Mr Williams, is all about ‘bringing history to the people’.
He said: ‘I have always had a love of history and over the past few years that has increased.
‘My interest in the English Civil War has too – I was never taught a lot about it in school.
‘But it’s a really pivotal part of history and we wouldn’t be where we are today without it.
‘So this is all about getting the name of King Charles I out there and giving something back to all these amazing historical places he was associated with.’
Mr Williams’ commitment to the role comes in the same year the Royal Academy of Arts, in London, is holding an exhibition on the art collection of King Charles I.
And for many making the same journey across the Solent this morning, spotting would-be royalty was something of a surprise.
Traveller Hilary Chambers, 63, was going to the Isle of Wight from Essex.
She said: ‘It’s been absolutely wonderful – he looks stunning and myself and my friend knew exactly who he was supposed to be the moment we saw him.’
Diane Davies, 69, came from Barry Island in South Wales.
She said: ‘I certainly didn’t expect to be seeing King Charles I today.
‘But he is being played wonderfully and the costume is just fantastic.’
Throughout 2018, Mr Williams is set to take his act to many more locations – including Dunfermline and Holyrood in Scotland.
Fans can follow his travels at kingcharlesireturn.co.uk.