Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788)
Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720-88), the Young Pretender, embodied the hopes of the Stuart cause in exile. His portrait was reproduced in numerous forms that could be disseminated widely, both as propaganda and as gifts for supporters. Born and brought up in Rome, the Prince made several efforts to regain the British throne for his father James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender), the son of the exiled King James VII & II. In 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed on the west coast of Scotland and marched to Edinburgh. The Prince was finally defeated at the battle of Culloden 1746 and lived in exile in France and Italy for the rest of his life.
Prince Charles is wearing armour and the ribbons of the Orders of the Garter and Thistle. The portrait is based on a pastel drawing by Maurice Quentin de la Tour (1704 –88) which was exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1748 (Scottish National Portrait Gallery, PG 2954). The identity of the miniaturist is unknown.
A paper fixed to the mahogany backboard is inscribed in a nineteenth century hand: Charles Stuart Chevalier de St George grandson of King James the 2nd 1745.