On this day in 1661, the day before his formal coronation (see tomorrow’s posting on “Coronacon Day”), Charles II ceremonially processed on horseback through the City of London to Westminster. The ceremonial route passed through four specially-constructed allegorically-themed triumphal arches: one on Leadenhall Street; one at the Royal Exchange on Cornhill; one on Cheapside; and one in Whitefriars (*).
The event was captured on canvas by the Dutch artist Dir(c)k Stoop. The associated lavish entertainments were described in detail in print by the Scots stage-manager John Ogilby, in a book entitled, in part (!), “The entertainment of His Most Excellent Majestie Charles II, in his passage through the city of London to his coronation containing an exact accompt of the whole solemnity, the triumphal arches, and cavalcade … ”.
The event is discussed at the site of the Royal Exchange on our “Tudor and Stuart London” and “Tudor and Stuart City Highlights” themed specials.
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(*) The arches are thought to have been inspired by those designed by Rubens for the triumphal entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria into Antwerp in 1635.