Monday, March 4, 2019

Portrait of Princess Mary Henrietta Stuart

From Codart:
Charles I of England wanted his eldest daughter, Mary Henrietta Stuart, to marry William II, Prince of Orange. The dynastic marriage was aimed at strengthening the alliance between England and the Netherlands. The ceremony was held on 2 May 1641 but the marriage could not be consummated since Mary Henrietta was nine and William was fourteen years old. (Their child, who would be the English king as William III, was only born nine years later.) In the wedding portrait, the princess has a wedding ring on her left hand, and wears on her dress the large diamond brooch she received as a wedding gift from her husband. In the exhibition, we can see the parents and the husband of the princess in engraved portraits.

Children of rulers were regularly portrayed in European courts. Among the portraits of children displayed in the exhibition, there are several who were somehow connected to Princess Mary Henrietta. Balthasar Charles, Prince of Asturias, two years senior to Mary Henrietta, was one of the princess’ possible husbands-to-be. He was also her cousin, just like the children of “The Winter King”, Frederick V of the Palatinate. (Read more.)

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