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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.

Simon Verelst (1644-1721)

Charles II (1630-1685)

Edward Bower (d. 1667)

Charles I at his Trial

Francoys van Beusekom (active 1642-65)

The execution of Charles I

Johannes Lingelbach (Frankfurt 1622-Amsterdam 1674)

The Embarkation of Charles II at Scheveningen

Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77)

The Coronation of Charles II

William Faithorne (1616-1691) after Dirck Stoop (c.1610-1686)

Catherine of Braganza

Wenceslaus Hollar (1607–1677) after Sir Jonas Moore (1617–1679)


Peter Vandrebanc (1649–1697) after Sir Peter Lely (1618–1680)

Charles II

Abraham Blooteling (1640-90) after Sir Peter Lely (1618–1680)

Charles II

Abraham Blooteling (1640-90) after Sir Peter Lely (1618–1680)

James II