The Coronation of Charles II – the procession
Good day to you of the future. My name is Samuel Pepys, and I may normally be found communicating from 1661 using the modernity of a thyng called Twitter. There you can read my daily doings there by following @sampepys_1661. The King’s coronacion being imminent, and such a stonking gig that it shall not be limited to short 140 character bursts of pale description, Mr. Wombat has kindly allowed me to expound at length here upon the glorious Restoration of England’s monarchy.
22nd April 1661 –
KING’S GOING FROM YE TOWER TO WHITE HALL.
Got up dead early, and pimped myself up as fine as I could. I had on my new (ish) velvet coat for the first time. Our Navy Office gang, nine of us in all, went to Mr. Young the flag-maker’s house, where we had a room with wine and CAKE (yay). We went there cos it’s near to the second triumphal arch (near the Royal Exchange) which is dedicated to the Navy.
The streets were all gravelled, and the houses hung with carpets before them, making a brave show, and the ladies leaning out of the windows, one of which over against us I took much notice of, and spoke of her. She was a bit gorgeous, which made good sport among us. She had the most excellent decolletage. Boobies ahoy!
You know, it’s impossible to describe properly the true glory of that procession: the fine horses decked out in magnificent clothes, and their riders all bedecked in their finery. Even the most ordinary rider was covered with embroidery & diamonds, and the brightest of them shone with light. This beauty didn’t stop several of them doing a big shyte on the gravell.
The Knights of the Bath & their Esquires were a mighty brave sight; especially remarquable were the two men that represent the two Dukes of Normandy and Aquitane. Then some Barons, and a shitload of Bishops all a-glitter. My Lord Monk rode bare after the King, and led in his hand a spare horse, as being Master of the Horse. The King himself, in a most rich embroidered suit and cloak, looked most noble and handsome. The King noticed us leaning out of the windows and nodded in our direction. Oh yeah, baby, we’re the in-crowd, we are.
Then followed Wadlow, the vintner from the Devil pub, leading a fine company of soldiers, all young comely men, in white doublets. After came a company of men all like Turks; but I have no idea what they are for, other than to give us a giggle by looking silly. So glorious was the whole show with gold and silver, that we were not able to look at it, our eyes at last being so much overcome with it.
The parade of dekights being ended, Mr. Young did give us a dinner, at which we were very merry, and pleased above imagination at what we have seen. We laid into the drink with a will, and I won 20s from Sir W. Batten with a wager about my Lady Faulconbridge’s first name (Mary, since you ask). So home to see the show upon Towre Hill with Will, my wife Lizzie being over at Charles Glassecocke’s. Had some more wine. Then more wine. In the evening by water to White Hall to my Lord’s, where he old me that his suit for tomorrow was made in France, and cost him 200l., and very rich it is with embroidery. I staid there the night, being fallingdown rat-legged, for the Coronacion itself on the morrow.
I’ll tell you all about that (including my dilemma about how to have a pisse during the service) here tomorrow.