“This first-class exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery brings together paintings, drawings, books and rare artefacts that tell the story of Prince Henry, the heir to the throne who died at the age of eighteen in 1612.”

A review by: Julia Gasper

Henry, Prince of Wales by Isaac Oliver, c. 1610-12 National Portrait GalleryHenry, Prince of Wales by Isaac Oliver, c. 1610-12

The Royal Collection Photo: Supplied by Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012

Eldest son of King James 1, Henry was the focus of all the hopes and dreams of the newly-united kingdoms of Scotland and England. Carefully nurtured and educated, the prince showed great promise in the arts of war and peace. He had a taste for painting, architecture, literature, and took an interest in ship-building and the exploration of America. He loved hunting and he appeared personally in court masques with words by Ben Jonson and elaborate sets and costumes by Inigo Jones. Devout, handsome and promising in every way, he was expected to become a great monarch and England was grief-stricken by his sudden death at the age of only eighteen. We can only wonder how history might have been different if Henry had come to the throne rather than his younger brother, Charles I.


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