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Hieronymus Janssens (Antwerp 1624 - Antwerp 1693)

Charles II dancing at a Ball at Court c.1660

RCIN 400525

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This lively scene shows Charles II dancing with his sister Mary, Princess of Orange, probably in the Hague, just before returning to the English throne in 1660. He wears the short doublet and full petticoat breeches trimmed with bunches of ribbons that were so fashionable for men at this date (see below) but which would soon be replaced by the coat and narrow breeches. The four male members of the royal family (Charles II; James, Duke of York; Henry, Duke of Gloucester; and the young Prince William of Orange) can be identified by their hats. Hat etiquette – the removal of hats in the presence of social superiors – was strictly observed throughout the period.