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The Restoration

After the execution of Charles I in 1649, Charles II spent much of the time in exile until 1660 when he was proclaimed king. He sailed from Scheveningen on the Dutch coast to Dover, and on 29 May 1660, entered London in triumph. Less than a year later Charles II staged an extravagant coronation. The royal regalia, which had been melted down by the Parliamentarians, was remade and the magnificent procession, ceremony and banquet were performed in accordance with ancient tradition. Describing the splendours of the coronation in his diary, Samuel Pepys concluded that ‘I may now shut my eyes against any other objects, or for the future trouble myself to see things of state and shewe, as being sure never to see the like again in this world’.
Almost immediately, the new king set about reinstating the royal ceremonies that had been abandoned during the Commonwealth: the medieval custom of ‘touching for the king's evil’, the rituals of the Chapel Royal and the traditions of the Order of the Garter, the highest and oldest order of chivalry in England. These events, with their magnificent pageantry, were powerful representations of royal authority.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.