War trophy temporarily back in England
While conducting sea-trials, the new patrol vessel HNLMS Holland returned a Dutch trophy from the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) to British soil. The stern piece of the English flagship HMS Royal Charles was temporarily transferred to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, U.K. on 15 March 2012. This was done in the presence of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom.
The carved ornament from the Royal Charles was war booty taken by Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. In 1667, a fleet under his command set sail for England in what would become known as the Raid on the Medway. Its target was the English fleet laid up in the dockyards of Chatham on the River Medway. The ships of the Dutch Republic, assisted by the men of the newly established Marine Corps, advanced along the river relentlessly. Under the command of Lieutenant Admiral Willem van Ghent, the sea-going soldiers' first exploit was also their first victory. A fort was captured, and the defence chain placed across the river by the English turned out to be no insurmountable obstacle. A total of 13 English ships were subsequently destroyed at Chatham. The English ships Royal Charles and Unity were towed back to the Republic as war trophies.
The Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames exhibition runs from 27 April until 9 September 2012 in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.