On this day in 1660, Charles II returned to London from exile in the Netherlands to claim the English throne on his 30th birthday after the Puritan Commonwealth instigated by Oliver Cromwell came to an end.
This marked the end of the first and only experiment with republicanism in England, which started after Charles I was tried by Parliament, found guilty of treason against the people of England for conspiring with foreign powers to invade England and take back his throne after being defeated by the parliamentarian army, and subsequently beheaded. The law did not grant any powers to try the monarch, and so the trial was almost certainly unlawful. Certainly, all those directly involved with the trial were subsequently executed.
Oliver Cromwell rose to power to fill the power vacuum threatening to destabilise the country after the King’s execution but resisted being crowned himself, preferring the less restricted powers of the new role of Lord Protector. His extreme puritanical rule was unpopular but absolute during his lifetime and upon his death the country turned to the late King’s son who had fled into exile on the continent, later crowned Charles II of England, to take up the reigns of monarchy once more.