On this day in 1662, John Evelyn wrote in his diary:
“I was spectator of the most magnificent triumph that ever floated on the Thames; considering the innumerable … vessels, … adorned with all imaginable pomp, … thrones, arches, pageants and other representations, stately barges of the Lord Mayor and Companies, … music and peals of ordnance … , going to meet and conduct the new Queen [Catherine of Braganza] from Hampton Court to Whitehall, at the first time of her coming to town. In my opinion, it far exceeded all the Venetian Bucentoras etc on the Ascension … . His Majesty and the Queen came in an antique … open vessel, covered with a … canopy of cloth of gold, made in form of a cupola, supported with high Corinthian pillars, wreathed with flowers, festoons and garlands. I was in our new-built vessel, sailing amongst them”.