This portrait was traditionally identified as of Queen Elizabeth I and was exhibited as such in the Tudor exhibition in 1890. It seems more likely to be of a member of the family of Lord Berners.
Stylistically this portrait bears strong similarities to the Portrait of Anne Russell, Countess of Warwick, of circa 1570-5, which was attributed to George Gower by Sir Roy Strong (Woburn Abbey; see R.Strong, The English Icon: Elizabethan & Jacobean Portraiture, London, 1969, p. 178, no.129).
Little is known about the early life or career of George Gower who was the grandson of Sir John Gower of Stettenham, Yorkshire. He became Serjeant Painter to Queen Elizabeth I in 1581, the first painter who specialised in portraiture to be appointed to the post, and his name appears in the royal accounts in connection with decorative and heraldic painting from 1581 until 1596. A surviving draft patent of 1584 granted Gower the monopoly of all painted and engraved portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, while allowing Nicholas Hilliard the monopoly of her portraiture in miniature, although no portraits of the Queen by him can be identified with confidence. His earliest known works are his portraits of Sir Thomas and Lady Kytson of 1573 (see Dynasties, Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630, ed. K. Hearn, catalogue to the exhibition at the Tate Gallery, 1995-6, pp. 53-54, nos. 53 and 54). Gower is, however, most well known for his unique self-portrait of 1579, the only known surviving self-portrait by a British sixteenth century artist in large (see Dynasties, op. cit., no.57).