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Royal Kill List

Joseph Fiennes, Jared Harris and Sheila Atim

LONDON—27 February, 2024 – Portraits by globally renowned photographer Rankin have been revealed today ahead of the brand-new three-part miniseries Royal Kill List, premiering on Sky HISTORY on 12th March. 

Commissioned by Sky HISTORY and shot exclusively for Royal Kill List - a series that unfolds the bloody tale of King Charles II’s relentless pursuit to bring justice to those responsible for his father’s execution in 1649 - the portraits include leading British actors Jared Harris, Sheila Atim and Joseph Fiennes who serve as storytellers throughout the programme.

Rankin said: “Shows like Royal Kill List possess a unique ability to resonate with the public, not only through telling incredibly captivating stories, but also because they are an important and timeless reminder of our history.  I love working on projects where I can capture the essence of a powerful narrative through photography and I hope people will feel compelled to delve further into this story – both now, and for many years to come.”

Royal Kill List is a Sky HISTORY Original series which tells an epic story of bloody revenge during a pivotal period of English history. This is a story about espionage, revenge, power, loyalty, and the moment that changed the landscape of British politics and society forever. 

This three-part drama-documentary follows King Charles II’s hunt for his father’s killers – the Regicides, as they were known - as a window into a remarkable and often overlooked historical period to explore how we became the nation we are today.

Filmed in Hungary and the UK and told through dramatic reconstruction, with three of Britain’s leading actors serving as primary storytellers – Sheila Atim for the Royalists, Jared Harris for the Regicides, and Joseph Fiennes for King Charles II – this epic series plays out as a Jacobean tragedy detailing the king’s lifelong obsession to hunt down and kill those responsible for his father’s death and his own exile.

Sheila Atim added: ''I’m so glad to be a part of Royal Kill List. I’m a big fan of Sky HISTORY’s fresh and engaging take on historical storytelling. The show, alongside these powerful images shot by the equally dynamic Rankin, breathes new life into these seismic British events. I learned more about just how brutal and relentless the campaign to punish the Regicides was, but also the wider cost to all those involved in the lengthy and vengeful plan - a cautionary tale for us all


Royal Kill List premieres on Tuesday 12th March November at 9pm on Sky HISTORY. 

The full series will be made available to watch on demand from 12th March 

Download full set of Rankin portraits and key art HERE

Download series imagery HERE 

Programme Information:


In 1649, 59 men sign Charles I’s death warrant and he is beheaded in front of a crowd in London. It is the first and only time that a reigning English monarch is executed and the shockwaves reverberate across Europe. His eldest son and heir, Charles Stuart played by Ashley Emerson, is forced into exile where he vows revenge against the men who murdered his father. 

A decade later, in 1660, England is reeling from an experiment in Republicanism. Rebellion, religious extremism and regime change have left the country divided. When Republican figurehead Oliver Cromwell dies it leaves a power vacuum and the threat of civil war. After exile Charles II is invited to restore the monarchy. He returns riding a wave of populism, promising mercy to his family’s enemies: of the 59 signatories of Charles I’s death warrant only seven will be executed. As the hunt for these seven men begins regicides like Edmund Ludlow, played by Jonah Russell, and his wife Elizabeth, played by Catrin Stewart, face a dilemma: trust the king’s promise of forgiveness or go on the run? 

When the death warrant is finally found Charles’ public display of forgiveness makes way for a private vendetta. He is no longer satisfied with executing seven men, he now decides to go after them all. Sheila Atim, Jared Harris and Joseph Fiennes tell the epic story of King Charles II’s revenge in Royal Kill List. 


Seven months into his reign and Charles is facing a backlash for his treatment of the regicides. Charles believes that, as king, he needs to be both feared and loved so he cracks down on dissenters whilst simultaneously organising a lavish coronation that he hopes will cement his rule. But as the coronation approaches, Charles learns that some of the most feared regicides have fled abroad where they are already spreading their Republican ideas. 

Charles’ lavish lifestyle, the coronation and his vendetta against the regicides are starting to catch up with him. Unwilling to give any of these up, Charles resorts to desperate measures to keep himself and his manhunt afloat. Edmund Ludlow makes a dangerous journey across France to reach the safety of Republican Switzerland whilst his wife Elizabeth looked after their affairs back in England. Here he is joined by a powerful Republican ally, Algernon Sidney, played by Aron Von Andrian. Together they vow to take down Charles. Far from bringing Charles the security that he seeks, his vendetta against the regicides only rallies his enemies against him, while he himself slips further into despotism. Jared Harris, Sheila Atim, and Joseph Fiennes tell the epic story of King Charles II’s revenge in Royal Kill List. 


Charles’ popularity is at an all-time low: at home his marriage to a Catholic bride has unleashed anti-Catholic sentiment in the public, meanwhile on the continent the regicides are gathering forces to unseat him. Ludlow and Sidney set out in search of the money and manpower to launch an invasion of England. 

Having lost the support of both the public and parliament Charles needs to gain financial independence. His greed spawns a trade network that will lay the foundation for the British Empire and mark the beginning of the English slave trade. But his colonial project brings him into direct conflict with the Dutch and French superpowers. 

Charles dispatches assassins to Europe, but as he attempts to stamp his power abroad, at home his authority begins to unravel when his new Queen publicly challenges him. As the hollowness of his populism becomes apparent, Charles secretly sells out to England’s old enemy – accepting payments from the French King that give him the independence from Parliament. Charles descends into a spiral of hedonism. 

In this vacuum of legitimacy his Republican enemies regroup and turn their attention to winning the battle of ideas. Within five years the Stuart dynasty is overthrown, and Parliament reasserts its rights, and the right of the English people to be ruled by popular consent. Charles may have killed the Regicides, but it is their Republican ideas which endure: they will shape the modern world and underpin the Britain we live in today. Joseph Fiennes, Sheila Atim and Jared Harris and tell the epic story of King Charles II’s revenge in Royal Kill List.

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