The sitter has traditionally been identified as James Stuart (1612-1666), mistakenly referred to as the 3rd Duke of Richmond although his correct titles were 4th Duke of Lennox and 1st Duke of Richmond. This identification appears unlikely on the basis of comparison with accepted portraits of James Stuart. Also elements of the costume, for example the size of the collar, the slit sleeves and high-waisted doublet, date the portrait to the early 1640s. The sitter in this portrait is a young man, probably aged 20 or even younger, while James Stuart would have been 28 years old in 1640. Furthermore James Stuart received the Garter in 1633 and following that date is almost always shown wearing the Garter insignia. The other identification of the sitter as Lord Darnley is untenable as there was no Lord Darnley at this date.
The sitter's costume is particularly luxurious and provides a valuable record of fashion at that date; the collar is finely rendered and the cape, doublet and breeches are embroidered with silver-gilt thread and embellised with silver and silver-gilt lace bows and shoe roses. The sitter's costume suggests that he is more likely to be English than Dutch.