"On this day in history in 1660, Charles II was restored to the throne.
This day is known as Restoration Day, Royal Oak Day or Oak Apple Day and commemorates the day when Cromwell’s Commonwealth was abolished and the monarchy restored.
Charles was in exile in France and returned to London, arriving on his thirtieth birthday, 29th May 1660, accompanied by tumultuous rejoicing. The day was declared a public holiday in perpetuity, it lasted until 1859, and became known as Oak Apple Day, a reference to the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester when Charles escaped capture by hiding in an oak tree.
Pepys recorded in his diary: “Parliament had ordered the 29th May, the King’s birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King’s return to his Government, he entering London that day.”
Charles had a long and popular reign and became known as the Merry Monarch, in complete contrast to the previous regime. Theatres were opened, dancing and public entertainment were permitted once again and feasting and drinking became a way of life."