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The interior is almost certainly imaginary (as opposed to being specifically of Whitehall Palace), although the event itself could have been witnessed by Houckgeest, who seems to have been at the English court sometime during the mid-1630s. Charles I owne

The ritual of public dining and its trappings in the time of Charles II

British School, 17th century

Charles II Presented with a Pineapple c.1675-80

Oil on canvas | 96.6 x 114.5 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 406896

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Pineapples in the seventeenth century were rare and highly valued exotic items. Charles II is shown in this painting receiving a pineapple from a kneeling man, possibly one of his gardeners. For a time this painting was thought to represent the first pineapple grown in England, but in fact it is too early for this to be the case - the fruit must have come from the West Indies. John Evelyn, who waited on the king at a banquet held for the French Ambassador in 1668, recorded in his diary that the king offered him a taste of a pineapple from his own plate. Evelyn was rather disappointed with the taste, saying, 'it has a grateful acidity but tastes more of the quince and melon.' He excused its flavour, attributing it to the distance the fruit must have travelled.