Charles Turner after John Singleton Copley.
To Her Royal Highness The Princess Charlotte of Wales, This Print of His Royal Highness The Prince Regent is with permission most humbly dedicated by her Royal Highness's most devoted & obedient servant J. Singleton Copley.
23½ x 31 inches
It's time to scrutinise the complicated personal life of the man we see shown here with such swagger and with such tight breeches. Was he the military hero that the picture implies or was there a more sleazy undertone? Well, where to start! The Prince of Wales considered handsome when young, possessed a fatal combination of good looks and royal cachet which meant he was an instant hit with the opposite sex. There were no shortages of visitors to his bedchamber: Mrs. Fitzherbert was followed by Lady Jersey who was followed by a return to Mrs. Fitzherbert who was finally ousted by Lady Hertford who was pipped to the post by the Marchioness of Conyngham. If the rumours are true there were countless other contenders along the way including, of course, a disastrous marriage to Caroline of Brunswick. As the prince aged his decadent lifestyle caught up with him and he became increasingly corpulent and boorish. By 1797 (aged only 35) he weighed in at a staggering 17 and a half stone! Corsets struggled to contain his bulging stomach and strategically placed cravats concealed a rolling chin but such devices did nothing to fool the arch dandy, Beau Brummell, who famously commented to his companion Lord Alvanley, "Who's your fat friend?" The print is, poignantly, dedicated to Charlotte, the only legitimate child born to the prince who predeceased her father in 1817 at the age of 21.£2800