Prince Charles Edward Stuart was the elder son of Prince James, the Old Pretender, and his wife, Princess Maria Clementina, and grandson of James II.
There are a number of versions of this portrait type, collectively known as Harlequin portraits after the tartan Bonnie Prince Charlie is wearing. The possible prototype was sold Christie's, Glasgow, 12 June 1996, lot 188. Other versions are in the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh and at Thornbury Castle. A similar portrait is in the collection of Donald Nicholas (see D. Nicholas, The Portraits of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Maidstone, 1973). It has been suggested that the name Wasdail, associated with this portrait type through an engraving, may be a corruption of Worsdale.