Royal visit to the fleet in the Thames Estuary, 6 June 1672 by Willem Van de Velde the Younger

Royal visit to the fleet in the Thames Estuary, 6 June 1672

Willem Van de Velde the Younger

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Royal visit to the fleet in the Thames Estuary, 6 June 1672 by Willem Van de Velde the Younger zoom

Royal visit to the fleet in the Thames Estuary, 6 June 1672

During the summer of 1672 Charles II visited ships of the fleet that were refitting in the Thames following the Battle of Solebay in May of that year. This may record a visit that took place on 10 September when the king was on board the yacht 'Cleveland'. The yacht in the left foreground is probably the 'Anne', which was used by his brother James, Duke of York. She flies the red ensign and is decorated with the figure of a woman holding a crown in her right hand on her stern, together with putti holding a garland above her head. In port-quarter view and further away on the 'Anne's' starboard bow is the 'Cleveland' with her mainsail hauled up and a man aloft hauling down the royal standard. This indicates that King Charles has transferred from the 'Cleveland' to hold a council-of-war on board the 'Prince', on the right, the principal ship in the painting. This is viewed in port-broadside and stern view, at anchor with a number of other craft around her. These include French boats, France being allied with England in the Third Dutch War of 1672-1674.
Willem van de Velde, the Younger

  • Image reference: BHC0299

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