The son of James Francis Edward Stuart, Jacobite heir to the throne, Charles was already a figure on the European stage by the time this portrait was made. James commissioned Liotard to produce pastel portraits of both his sons. This is a copy in oil of Liotard’s image and, although the identity of the artist is unknown, it was probably produced shortly after the original pastel. Paired portraits of the princes were very popular. They emphasised that there was not one Stuart heir, but two, and the boys’ similar good looks when young only enhanced the pleasing effect. The prince looks younger than his years, but the face is determined. Charles was spending long days hunting to develop his stamina in preparation for what he considered to be his destiny – reclaiming his father’s kingdoms.