This rather unflattering posthumous portrait represents James III, who ruled as King of Scots from the age of eight, after his father had been killed by an exploding cannon. James III was an unpopular and ineffective monarch, who throughout his life pursued a policy of alliance with England. Preferring books and music over his administrative duties, he was unsuccessful in curbing the power of his rebellious nobility. After the death of his estranged queen, Margaret of Denmark, in 1486, he increasingly lived in seclusion. He was finally confronted by rebels on the battlefield, who were joined by his own son, later James IV. At Sauchieburn, James III was defeated and was killed either in battle or shortly afterwards.