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The National Gallery has endeavoured to make as many images of the collection as possible available for non-commercial use. However, an image of this painting is not available to download. This may be due to third party copyright restrictions.

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The Brothers: Princes Rupert and Charles Louis


The portraits of these two princes are often displayed in the National Gallery on either side of one of their mother, Elizabeth Stuart, who was the sister of King Charles I of England. The three pictures may well have been shown together in this way since the seventeenth century, and are a testament to the importance of continuity of power to a royal dynasty.

Elizabeth was married to Frederick V, Elector Palatine. After dynastic squabbles involving almost the whole of Europe, they were deposed in 1620 and went into exile. When Frederick died in 1632 Elizabeth sent her three eldest sons to the court of Charles I, to strengthen the family ties and to gain support for their cause. Her eldest surviving son, the heir to the Electoral Palatinate, was Charles Louis; her second son was Rupert, known as Prince Rupert of the Rhine. It was while they were in England that their portraits were painted.