Charles I, when Duke of York and Albany
Robert Peake the Elder (about 1551–1619)
About 1610, oil on canvas
Charles spent his childhood in the shadow of his much-admired older brother Prince Henry Frederick. Charles had a speech impediment and struggled with walking, possibly due to rickets. Although the fine lace, luxurious fabrics, jewels and exotic bird of paradise pinned to his hat demonstrate Charles’s wealth, there is nothing in this portrait to indicate his royal status or that he was second in line for the throne. Charles became heir apparent when Henry Frederick tragically died at only eighteen-years-old.