The sitter was the son of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria. He first married Anne Hyde (1660), and secondly Mary of Modena (1673). On the death of his brother Charles II in 1685, James II come to the throne. His coronation took place on 23 April, 1685 at Westminster Abbey. He abdicated in December 1688 and died in exile in France in 1701.
The present picture was a popular design of which the prime version appears to be that at Windsor (see O. Millar, The Tudor, Stuart and early Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, London, 1963, p. 121, no. 241).