Sophia of Hanover was born to Frederick V of the Palatinate, the Winter King of Bohemia, and his wife Queen Elizabeth during their exile in the Dutch Republic, where her parents had sought refuge after the loss of their lands during the Thirty Years War. Elizabeth employed Honthorst as drawing master to her children during their exile and commissioned several portraits, including the present work. The composition, highlighting the young princess’ beauty and purity, was evidently hugely popular; there are seven known copies. In 1758, Sophia married the notoriously irritable Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg, with whom she had seven children. As a protestant granddaughter of James I, Sophia became heir presumptive to the British throne in 1707 but died shortly before she would have succeeded. Instead her son George, Elector of Hanover, was crowned as George I in 1714.