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English Royal Yachts at Sea in a Strong Wind in Company
with a Ship Flying the Royal Standard
1689
Willem Van de Velde the Younger

English Royal Yachts at Sea in a Strong Wind in Company with a Ship Flying the Royal Standard  1689 Willem Van de Velde the Younger

A group of royal yachts are shown accompanying a ship flying the royal standard in rough weather. The King used these yachts to carry dispatches and important people around the coast, or to and from the Continent. Some noblemen also built similar vessels for their own use.

In the left foreground is a royal yacht which has not been successfully identified. It is flying a red ensign and the Union flag and shows a carved bow in the shape of a lion's head. A number of figures are visible with one man attending to rigging in the bows. In the centre middle distance is a two-decker with her lower deck port closed in the rough weather. She has the royal standard of Charles II at the main which signifies a ship with either the king or the Duke of York on board.

The incident recorded remains unclear but it is possible that it is a painting recording an earlier event, such as the passage of the Duke of York to Scotland in the 'Gloucester' before 1682. To the right are three yachts in line ahead following the
line yacht on the left and another ship in the distance on the far right. Sky occupies two thirds of the painting with a large bank of cloud on the left and bright light reflecting in the clouds.

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