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John Smith (1653-1742) after Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723)

Prince James Francis Edward Stuart c.1688-90

Mezzotint | 35.8 x 25.6 cm | RCIN 603479

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At the accession of James II, the heir to the throne was his Protestant daughter Princess Mary, wife of William of Orange. But in June 1688 James's second wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth to a son – a male Catholic heir. Rumours that the child was not the queen's were spread by Protestants in an attempt to discredit the new-born prince's legitimacy, but this portrait entertains no such conspiracy. The child is surrounded by an abundance of royal symbols including his ermine-lined robe and prominent crowned ‘P’ for prince. Cat. 209